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Master Word’s Change Tracking

Tips to help you speed-edit.

Microsoft Word

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Microsoft Word makes it easy to collaborate on a document with colleagues, classmates, and clients. Not only can multiple people edit a file in real time, Word can highlight every change (as well as who made it) so you can quickly accept or reject each.

To enable change tracking, go to the Review tab, then toggle Track Changes to On.

Here, three ways to take tracking your changes to the next level.

With tracking enabled, it’s easy to see what’s changed—and who changed it.

Customize your view

With Track Changes enabled, you’ll see every edit by default, but you can have Word highlight just particular types of edits by clicking Review in the toolbar, then Markup Options. 

Uncheck everything except Formatting to see only changes to styling, like fonts and line spacing. Check Insertions and Deletions to highlight changes to the text. 

If multiple people have worked on the document, you can see edits and comments made by a specific person: Choose Reviewers, then check or uncheck names.

You can even customize how Word highlights different types of changes by going to Markup Options > Preferences (on smaller screens, Tracking > Markup Options > Preferences). Assign one color to insertions and another to deletions, for example. Or give collaborators their own colors to see at a glance who changed what.

Speed through your review

To move through edits efficiently, click the arrow next to Accept or Reject and choose Accept/Reject and Move to Next. Word will make your change and jump to the next edit you need to review. 

To get a clean look at the document with all edits accepted but without committing to anything, click All Markup in the toolbar (Tracking > All Markup on smaller screens) and switch to No Markup. If you’re happy with everything, click the arrow next to Accept, then choose Accept All Changes.

Pro tip: If you select a sentence, paragraph, or entire page of text, using the Accept or Reject menus will apply the action to every edit in your selection.

You can control exactly how every type of change appears in your document.

Compare and contrast

Forgot to enable change tracking? Fear not! If you have an earlier version of the document, use Word’s Compare Documents feature.

Choose Tools > Track Changes > Compare Documents, and select the original and revised documents. Word will create a new document with all changes highlighted. You can accept or reject each as though you’d tracked changes all along.

    Microsoft Word

    Create, Edit & Share Documents

    VIEW