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Tracking Changes

Not every Word document is the product of a single person. Occasionally (or perhaps frequently) you may collaborate with others. For instance, you might be creating a group report for school, working on a departmental budget with members of your staff, or writing a magazine or journal article that needs to incorporate an editor's comments. Word has features that enable the author to review the comments and changes of others, as well as to accept or reject each one.

To track changes to a document

  1. Choose View > Toolbars > Reviewing.

    The Reviewing toolbar appears (Figure 3.32).


    Figure 3.32 When track changes is enabled (the darkened icon), the Reviewing toolbar is extremely useful.

  2. Click the Track Changes toolbar icon on the Reviewing toolbar.

    When Track Changes is enabled, the toolbar icon is darkened. Any changes you make to the document will automatically be recorded and tracked.

  3. Choose one of these display options from the Display for Review drop-down menu:
    • Original. Display the original, unedited document (as it would look if all changes were rejected).
    • Original Showing Markup. Display insertions and formatting changes in balloons. Deleted text remains visible.
    • Final. Display the document as if all changes have been accepted.
    • Final Showing Markup. Display deletions in balloons. Insertions and formatting changes remain visible in the document text (Figure 3.33).

      Figure 3.33 You'll do most of your work with Final Showing Markup chosen. You can accept or reject changes, as well as make other necessary edits.

  4. To insert a comment, select the text on which you want to comment (or position the insertion point). Choose Insert > Comment or click the New Comment toolbar icon.

    A new comment line is added to the Reviewing Pane at the bottom of the document window. Enter your comment.

  5. To delete a comment or reject an edit, do one of the following:
    • Select the edit or comment in the Reviewing Pane. Click the Reject Change/Delete Comment toolbar icon.
    • Click the Reject button (the X) in the associated balloon (Figure 3.34).


      Figure 3.34 You can accept or reject an edit, as well as delete a comment, by clicking an icon in the related balloon.

    • control.gif-click the comment/edit in the body of the document and choose Reject Change or Delete Comment from the pop-up menu that appears.
  6. To accept an edit, do one of the following:
    • Select the edit in the Reviewing Pane. Click the Accept Change toolbar icon.
    • Click the Accept button (the checkmark) in the associated balloon.
    • control.gif-click the edit in the body of the document and choose Accept Change from the pop-up menu that appears.
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