Track changes

Track changes in email

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If collaborating with others online isn’t an option, Word has tools to help you deal with changes in multiple copies. In this video, you’ll see how to track changes in email with multiple people. Word lets you combine the documents in such a way that you can see everyone’s changes clearly marked in one place.

Run Document Inspector before you share

  • Before you share the final version of your document, it’s a good idea to run Document Inspector. This tool checks for tracked changes and comments, hidden text, personal names in properties, and other information you might not want to share widely. To run Document Inspector, click FILE > Info > Check for Issues > Inspect Document.

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So how do you handle changes from two or more people when you can’t collaborate online?

And what do you do if a reviewer doesn’t turn on Track Changes?

Without being able to see what’s changed, how do you merge the input from one reviewer, much less two or more?

Well, Word lets you combine the documents in such a way that you can see everyone’s changes clearly marked in one place.

Here’s how it works.

First, save the documents to your computer. Then go to the REVIEW tab, click Compare, and Combine.

Under Original document, click Browse, click your original, and Open.

Then, under Revised document, click Browse, and Open the document from the first reviewer.

Make sure the reviewer’s name shows here.

By default, Word compares just about everything, but you can uncheck items that you don’t want Word to compare.

Also by default, Word shows the changes in the original document, but you can change that to show changes in the revised document or create a new document. Click OK.

By default, Word uses the formatting from your original document, but if you want you can use the formatting that your reviewer changed. Click Continue with Merge.

And Word copies the changed items from the revised document into the original, and presents them as mark up, as if the reviewer had added the changes with track changes turned on.

Now if you need to include the changes from more reviewers, you can continue to combine documents into the original.

First, Save the original.

Then, click Compare and Combine.

Add the original over here. Then, under Revised document, select the document from the second reviewer, and click OK.

Now the changes and comments from both reviewers are combined in one document using markup.

By default, each reviewer’s changes appear in a different color.

But the automatic colors may be different on the reviewers’ computers.

Also when you hold the mouse over a change, you can see who made the change and when.

Make sure Track Changes is turned on.

Then, go through the document, and decide what you want to do with the comments and changes - the same as you did in Movie 2.

If you plan to send the document back to the reviewers for another go-around, you can reply to comments if you want.

Click this button, and type the reply.

If overlapping changes make it too difficult to read, try this. Click Compare, and Show Source Documents.

You can show the Original, the Revised, or both documents.

In the top window, you see the original after adding the first reviewer.

And in the bottom window, you can see the second reviewer’s changes.

Scroll the document in the main window and all the windows scroll in sync.

If this doesn’t make it easier to read, try this: Click the arrow next to Display for Review and select No Markup.

Sometimes getting the markup out of the way helps. And you can always show the markup again by clicking All Markup.

When you’re finished, keep Track Changes on.

Then, click FILE and Save As, if you want to save different versions of the document.

For example, you could name this one Draft 2.

The reviewers can open the document and add any changes and reply to your replies.

When you get all the revisions back, follow the same process to combine the revised documents with your original Draft 2.

Whether you collaborate in email or online, the Review tools can make the job a lot easier.

Up next, I’ll show you a few more ways you can customize how you track changes.

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