How to Track the Changes ?

Being able to add and edit comments is very useful but if you want to track line-by-line changes then you need to use Track Changes.
With Track Changes switched on any changes made to a document are tracked and recorded.
Afterwards you can then go through all the changes and decide which ones to accept, reject or modify.

To track the changes made to a document, select (Tools > Track Changes)

Word inserts a black vertical line in the outside margin of any line that contains a tracked change.
This is called changed line.
You can control changed lines from the Track Changes tab.

<< link to Options tab >>

How are the changes tracked ?

  • Any new text is displayed in red with underlying. Word may select a different colour if you are not the first person to review the document.

  • Any text that is deleted remains on the screen but is formatted with a red line (or strikethrough) through it.

  • Any new text that is added and then subsequently deleted is not displayed.

  • Whenever an editing change is made a vertical line will appear in the left margin making it easy to find and focus on changes especially if the document is printed.

Change the Vertical Editing Line

If you do not like the vertical line being on the left you can change it to be on the right instead
(Tools > Options)(Track Changes tab, Margin) drop-down list.

Printing the Vertical Editing Line

If you print a document with the markup then the vertical line will also be printed.
You can change the position of the editing line to one of the following:
Left Border -
Right Border -
Outside Border - This means the left margin on even numbered pages and the right margin on odd numbered pages.
If you want vertical lines to appear on the outside border you must define different headers and footers for odd and even pages ?

Quick Highlighting

What is Track Changes ?

If you work in a team and several of you are responsible for maintaining and editing documents it can be useful to keep track of the changes made to the document.
For example lets say that you create a document and then want to email it to your colleague for feedback.
Track changes is a feature that can be used to record/track the changes you or others make to a document.
Track changes is also known as redlining or redlines because before computers vertical red lines were drawn in the margin to indicate changes.

With track changes switched on that person can edit the document and send it back so you are able to see what changes have been made.
Track changes is also known as redlining or redline since changes are indicated with a vertical red line in the margin by default.

Track changes allows you to track not just who, but when a change was actually made.
This lets you track, accept and reject specific changes made by multiple reviewers.
Even if you are the only person that uses a document you can even track your own changes.

When track changes is switched on, any insertion, deletion or formatting change that you or a reviewer makes is recorded and tracked.
These changes can then be reviewed later and accepted or rejected accordingly.

SS - status bar
This is a quick way of togglying it on and off.

Notification of Tracked Changes

It is possible to show a prompt before printing, saving or sending a document
(Tools > Options(Security Tab, "Warn before printing, saving or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments)

Make hidden markup visible when opening and saving
SS - of the notification messages (s)

Comparing Documents

Never use Track Changes and Compare Document together.
Documents > Comparing Documents

Copying Text Between Documents

If you copy text from a document that has tracked changes switched on to a document that has not got tracked changes switched on then the original text (without the tracked changes) is just copied and pasted across as usual

Figures not Updated

When you have tracked changes switched on figure captions will not be updated.
Only after you have accepted or rejected the changes will the figure captions be updated.

What cannot be done

1) unable to print just the pages that contain track changes
2) track change options are defined for each user, no consistency is guaranteed from one machine to another
3) unable to convert the track changes into static redline text in the actual document
4) quick inspection of all the insertions and all deletions


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