Track changes in Word

When you want to see who’s changing what in your document, turn on Track Changes.

Tip:  If you prefer to see all your Track Changes options on one place, see Change options for Track Changes. For even more control, see Advanced Track Changes Options.

Click Review > Track Changes.

Track changes on the Word ribbon

Now Word’s in Simple Markup view. Word marks up any changes that anyone makes to the document and shows you where the changes are by displaying a line near the margin.

The line at the margin to show a tracked change is at that location

Word shows a little balloon where someone’s made a comment. To see a comment, click the comment balloon.

The comment icon in Simple Markup

To see the changes, click the line near the margin. That switches Word into All Markup view.

Track changes showing in All Markup view

If you’d rather see all the comments, but not all the changes, click Show Comments.

Show Comments command

Keep Track Changes on

You can prevent someone else from turning Track Changes off by locking Track Changes on with a password. (Be sure to remember the password so you can turn Track Changes off when you’re ready to.)

  1. Click Review.

  2. Click the arrow by Track Changes and click Lock Tracking.

Lock changes command on the Track Changes menu

  1. Type a password, and then type it again in the Reenter to confirm box.

  2. Click OK.

While tracked changes are locked, you can’t turn off change tracking, and you can’t accept or reject the changes.

To stop locking, click the arrow by Track Changes and click Lock Tracking again. Word prompts you to type your password. After you type your password and click OK, Track Changes is still on, but you can accept and reject changes.

Turn off Track Changes

To turn off Track Changes, click the Track Changes button. Word stops marking up new changes—but all of the changes that were already tracked stay marked up in the document until you remove them.

Remove tracked changes

Important:  The only way to get tracked changes out of a document is to accept or reject them. Choosing No Markup in the Display for Review box helps you see what the final document will look like—but it only hides tracked changes temporarily. The changes are not deleted, and they’ll show up again the next time anyone opens the document. To delete the tracked changes permanently, accept or reject them.

Click Review > Next > Accept or Reject.

The Accept, Reject, and Next buttons

Word accepts the change or removes it and then moves to the next change.

To delete a comment, select it and click Review > Delete. To delete all comments, click Delete > Delete All Comments in Document.

Tip:  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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