Use a screen reader to track and review changes in a document in Word

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Word 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to see who’s been making changes to your document, manage tracked changes, and delete comments in your Word 2016 document.

Notes: 

In this topic

Turn on Track Changes

When you turn on Track Changes, Word marks up and shows any changes that anyone makes to your document. You can turn this feature on using either a direct keyboard shortcut, or the ribbon.

To turn on Track Changes, do one of the following:

  1. To use the direct shortcut, on the keyboard, press Ctrl+Shift+E.

  2. To use the ribbon, on the keyboard, press Alt+R, G. You hear: “Track Changes, unchecked menu item.” Then press G.

Show changes (revisions) in a document

You can choose how you’d like to show the tracked changes in your document.

  1. Press Alt+R, TD. You hear: “<the name of the markup currently selected>”.

    In JAWS, you hear “Lower ribbon, tracking group box, <the name of the markup currently selected>”.

    A list with following four view options opens:

    • Simple Markup is the default option, and indicates where the changes are with a red line in the document margin.

      Note: Comments appear as comment bubbles in the margin. To expand the bubble, press Alt+R, K.

    • No Markup hides markup to show what the incorporated changes will look like. This option does not delete the changes.

      Note: To see the markup again, choose Simple Markup or All Markup.

    • All Markup shows all edits with different colors of text and lines. This option is the recommended markup and best supported by the screen readers.

    • Original shows the document in its original form

  2. In the list, press the arrow keys until you hear the name of the option you’d like to choose. Then press Enter.

  3. To choose the type of markup you'd like to see, press Alt+R,TM. You hear: “Comments.” That’s the first option on the list.

    In JAWS, you hear: “Menu, Comments.” That’s the first option on the list.

    A list with the following options opens:

    • Comments

    • Ink

    • Insertions and Deletions

    • Formatting

    • Balloons

    • Specific People

  4. In the list, press the arrow keys until you hear the name of the option you’d like to choose. Then press Enter. Repeat this step for all the markup types you’d like to select.

Navigate to tracked changes or comments

When Track Changes is on, Word 2016 marks up the body text in your document. A line through the text and a color is used for deletions, and underline and color is used for insertions. Your screen reader announces the changes and change types when reading through the text. You hear, for example, “Insertion change”. In Jaws, you hear, for example: “Revision, inserted.”

If the formatting has been changed, your screen reader announces that there’s a change. To hear the details of the changed formatting, you need to navigate to the margin of your document.

Comments’ insertion points are highlighted in the document’s body text in All Markup mode. Narrator announces the comments when reading the body text. The actual comment text and its details are displayed in a comment box in the margin of your document. JAWS reads the comment text, and announces also who has left the comment when reading the body text. You hear: “Comment, <comment text>, by <commentator>.”

  1. Make sure you’ve selected All Markup option as instructed above in Show changes (revisions) in a document.

  2. To navigate from the document editing area to the margin to check a tracked change’s details or comment contents, let your screen reader read the body text until you hear it announce a change or a comment. Then press Caps Lock+Insert.

  3. To navigate through all tracked changes or comments in your document, do one of the following:

    • To navigate through all comments, press Alt+R, N. Repeat this action until you’ve gone through all comments or have found the comment you were looking for.

    • To navigate through all tracked changes and comments, press Alt+R, H. Repeat this action until you’ve gone through all changes and comments, or have found the change or comment you were looking for.

  4. To hear the content in the margin, use the screen reader item navigation commands. For Narrator commands, see Narrator keyboard commands and touch gestures.

    For JAWS commands, see JAWS Keystrokes.

Remove tracked changes

The only way you can remove tracked changes permanently in a document is to accept or reject them.

Accept or reject a single tracked change

  1. Navigate to the tracked change you want to remove.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To accept the change, press Alt+R, A2. You hear: “Accept and Move to Next”. Then press Enter. The current change is accepted, and the focus moves to the next change in your document.

    • To reject the change, press Alt+R, J. You hear: “Reject and Move to Next”. Then press Enter. The current change is rejected, and the focus moves to the next change in your document.

Accept or reject all tracked changes

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To accept all tracked changed, press Alt+R, A2, L.

    • To reject all tracked changed, press Alt+R, J, L.

Keep Track Changes turned on

To prevent someone else from turning off Track Changes, turn on Lock Tracking and add a password. When Tracked Changes is locked, anyone opening your document can view the changes but they can't turn off the feature, and they can’t accept or reject changes.

  1. Press Alt+R, G, L. You hear: “Lock Tracking window. Enter password, optional”. In JAWS, you hear “Leaving menus, Lock Tracking”.

  2. Choose and type a password, and press Tab. You hear: “Re-enter to Confirm”. Type your password again, and then press Enter.

Turn off Lock Tracking

  1. Press Alt+R, G, L. You hear: Unlock Tracking window, password.”

    In JAWS, you hear: “Leaving menu, Unlock Tracking, password edit”.

  2. Type your password and press Enter.

Turn off Track Changes

When you turn Track Changes off, Word stops marking up new changes. All changes that were already tracked remain marked up in the document, until you remove them. You can turn this feature off using either a direct keyboard shortcut or the ribbon.

To turn off Track Changes, on the keyboard, press Ctrl+Shift+E.

To use the ribbon to turn off Track Changes, on the keyboard, press Alt+R, G. You hear: “Track Changes, checked menu item.” Then press G.

See also

Use a screen reader to co-author documents in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word on Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to see who’s been making changes to your document, manage tracked changes, and delete comments in your Word for Mac document.

Notes: 

In this topic

Turn Track Changes on and off

When you turn on Track Changes, Word for Mac marks up and shows any changes that anyone makes to your document. You can turn this feature on using a direct keyboard shortcut.

To toggle Track Changes on and off, in the document text area, press Command+Shift+E.

Show changes (revisions) in a document

You can choose how you’d like to show the tracked changes in your document.

  1. Press F6 until you hear the currently selected tab. If you're already on the Review tab, proceed to step 3.

  2. Press the Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Review tab," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. You hear: "Review tab, selected.

  3. Press Tab until you hear: "<Current markup>, Display for review, pop up button."

  4. To expand the markup menu, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    A list with following four view options opens:

    • Simple Markup is the default option, and indicates where the changes are with a red line in the document margin.

    • No Markup hides markup to show what the incorporated changes will look like. This option does not delete the changes.

      Note: To see the markup again, choose Simple Markup or All Markup.

    • All Markup shows additions in the body text with different colors, and deletions and format changes in the comments pane. This option is the recommended markup and best supported by screen readers.

    • Original shows the document in its original form.

  5. Press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear the option you'd like to select, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. You hear: "<Selected markup>, Display for review."

  6. To choose the type of markup you'd like to see, press Tab until you hear “Markup options, menu button,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    A list with the following options opens:

    • Comments

    • Ink

    • Insertions and Deletions

    • Formatting

    • Track Moves From/To

    • Balloons

    • Reviewers

  7. In the list, press the Up or Down keys until you hear the name of the option you’d like to choose. Then press Control+Option+Spacebar. Repeat this step for all the markup types you’d like to select or unselect.

Navigate to tracked changes

When Track Changes is on, Word marks up the body text or the comments pane in your document. VoiceOver announces the changes and the change types when reading through the text.

  • Underline and color are used for insertions in the body text. You hear "Insertion change" when navigating by the beginning and end of a tracked change.

  • Word marks deletions in the comments pane. VoiceOver announces the deleted word.

  • If the formatting has been changed, you hear: "Format change”. To hear details about the formatting changes, you need to navigate to the margin of your document.

  1. Make sure you’ve selected the All Markup option as instructed above in Show changes (revisions) in a document.

  2. Do one of the following:

    Use the Next and Previous buttons

    1. To navigate through all tracked changes in your document one by one, navigate to the Review tab as instructed in Show changes (revisions) in a document.

    2. Press Tab until you hear "Previous button, previous" or "Next button, next," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. Repeat this step until you've gone through the changes.

    Use the Comments pane

    1. To move through deletions and formatting changes logged in the Comments pane, in the editing area, press Control+Option+Right arrow key. The focus moves to the comments pane.

    2. To move in the list, press Control+Options+Up or Down arrow key.

    Use the Reviewing pane

    1. To navigate to the Reviewing pane, press Control+Option+M. You hear: "Menu bar, Apple."

    2. Press the Right arrow key until you hear "View," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Sidebar," and the press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    4. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Reviewing," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    5. Press Tab until you hear: "Summary." To listen to the overview of the changes, press the Right arrow key. You hear the total number of changes and the number of insertions, deletions, moves, formatting changes, and comments.

    6. To move from the summary to the change details, press VO+Shift+Up arrow key. You hear: "Out of reviewing pane group."

    7. Press the Down arrow key once, and then press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key. VoiceOver reads the change details line by line.

    8. To close the Reviewing pane, press Control+Option+Shift+Up arrow key. Press the Up arrow key until you hear: "Thumbnails pane." Press the Right arrow key until you hear "Close button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Remove tracked changes

The only way you can remove tracked changes permanently in a document is to accept or reject them.

Accept or reject a single tracked change

  1. Navigate to the tracked change you'd like to remove as instructed in Navigate to tracked changes.

  2. Navigate to the Review tab as instructed in Show changes (revisions) in a document.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To accept the change, press Tab until you hear “Accept menu button," and then press Control+Option+Shift+M. Press Tab until you hear "Accept and move to next” and press Control+Option+Spacebar. The change is accepted, and the focus moves to the next change in your document.

    • To reject the change, press Tab until you hear "Reject menu button," and then press Control+Option+Shift+M. Press Tab until you hear “Reject and move to next” and press Control+Option+Spacebar. The change is rejected, and the focus moves to the next change in your document.

Accept or reject all tracked changes

  1. Navigate to the Review tab as instructed in Show changes (revisions) in a document.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To accept all tracked changed, press Tab until you hear “Accept menu button," and then press Control+Option+Shift+M. Press Tab until you hear "Accept all changes" and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • To reject all tracked changed, press Tab until you hear “Reject menu button," and then press Control+Option+Shift+M. Press Tab until you hear "Reject all changes" and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Keep Track Changes turned on

To prevent someone else from turning off Track Changes, you can lock the feature on. You can also add a password for further protection. When Tracked Changes is locked, anyone opening your document can view the changes but they can't turn off the feature, and they can’t accept or reject changes.

  1. Navigate to the Review tab as instructed in Show changes (revisions) in a document. Press Tab until you hear "Protect Document, unchecked checkbox" and press Control+Option+Spacebar. The Password Protect dialog opens.

  2. Press Tab until you hear "Protect document for," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. Press Tab until you hear "Tracked changes, radio button" and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. To set a password, press Tab until you hear "Protection secure, edit text." Type a password and press Tab.

  5. In the confirmation dialog, type the password again, and press Tab until you hear: "OK default button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  6. Press Tab until you hear "OK, default button" and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Turn off Track changes locking

  1. In the Password Protect dialog, press Tab until you hear "Protect document for," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  2. Type the password and press Tab until you hear "OK default button" and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. Press Tab until you hear "OK default button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to co-author documents in Word

Use a screen reader to share a document in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to see who’s been making changes to your document and manage tracked changes in your Word Mobile document.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a Windows phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a tablet or PC.

In this topic

Navigate to Review tab

You can find Track Changes and other functions described in this topic on the Review tab.

  1. In your document, swipe up or down on the screen with one finger until you hear: “Items.”

  2. Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “More Options-button, collapsed, double-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. The More Options menu expands.

  3. Swipe left with one finger until you hear: “Home-button, collapsed. Double-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. You hear: “Home, <number of available tabs and the place of the current tab on the menu list>, selected.” The main menu is now expanded.

  4. In the menu, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Review, <number of available tabs and the place of the current tab on the menu list>, double-tab to select.” Double-tap the screen. You hear: “Word window.” The Review tab options are now available.

Turn on Track Changes

When you turn on Track Changes, Word Mobile marks up and shows any changes that anyone makes to your document. Narrator reads the tracked changes along with the body text.

  1. In the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Off, Track Changes-button. Double-tap to toggle on.” Double-tap the screen. You hear: “On, Track Changes-button.” Track Changes is now on, and you can start editing your document.

Show changes (revisions) in a document

In Word Mobile, you can choose how you’d like to show the tracked changes in your document.

  1. In the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Display for Review-button, double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Back-button.”

  2. Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Simple Markup, one of four.” The viewing options list is available with the following options:

    • Simple Markup is the default option, and indicates where changes are with a red line in the document margin.

    • No Markup hides markup to show what the incorporated changes will look like. This option does not delete the changes.

      Note: You can see the markup again by choosing Simple Markup or All Markup.

    • All Markup shows all edits with different colors of text and lines.

    • Original shows the document in its original form.

  3. Swipe right with one finger until you hear the view option you’d like to choose. Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “<markup name>, selected.” The focus moves back to the document editing window.

Remove tracked changes

The only way you can remove tracked changes permanently in a document is to accept or reject them.

Accept or reject a single tracked change

  1. In the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Changes-group.” In the Changes group, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Next button, double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to a tracked change in your document. You hear the selected text. Double-tap until you reach the change you want to delete.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To accept the change, in the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Accept. Collapsed, split button, double-tap to activate, triple-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. The current change is accepted and focus moves to the next change.

    • To reject the change, in the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Reject. Collapsed, split button, double-tap to activate, triple-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. The current change is rejected and the focus moves to the next change.

Accept or reject all tracked changes

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To accept all tracked changes, in the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Accept. Collapsed, split button, double-tap to activate, triple-tap to expand.” Triple-tap the screen. You hear: “Back-button.” Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Accept All Changes-button, double-tap to activate.” Double-tap the screen.

    • To reject all tracked changes, in the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Reject. Collapsed, split button, double-tap to activate, triple-tap to expand.” Triple-tap the screen. You hear: “Back-button.” Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Reject All Changes-button, double-tap to activate.” Double-tap the screen.

Turn off Track Changes

When you turn Track Changes off, Word Mobile stops marking up new changes. All changes that were already tracked, remain marked up in the document until you remove them.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling and grammar in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

Expand your skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×