Track changes in Word for Mac

With tracked changes, multiple users can collaborate on a document, and each person's changes are tracked and displayed. You can review the changes and accept or reject them before finalizing your document.

To learn more about working with comments in Word documents, see Insert, delete, or change a comment.

Turn Track Changes on

On the Review tab, turn on Track Changes.

Turn on Track Changes is highlighted

Anytime someone changes the document, Word will show you where the changes are by displaying a line in the margin. If you switch to All Markup view, you'll see changes inline and in balloons.

Markup is highlighted near the margin

Anytime someone adds a comment, it'll show up in a balloon.

A comment in the margin is highlighted

Show changes inline

Word typically shows changes in balloons near the margin of your document. If you want to see changes inline, on the Review tab, click Markup Options > Balloons > Show All Revisions Inline.

Show all Revisions inline is highlighted

Keep Track Changes on

You can prevent others from turning off Track Changes by locking Track Changes on with a password.

Important: Be sure to remember the password so you can turn Track Changes off when you’re ready to accept or reject the changes.

Lock Track Changes with a password

  1. On the Tools menu, click Protect Document.

  2. Under Protection, check Protect document for and click Tracked changes

    Protection section is highlighted

  3. Next to Password, type a password and click OK.

  4. Re-enter your password and click OK.

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

Unlock Track Changes

  1. To unlock tracked changes, on the Tools menu, click Protect Document.

  2. Under Protection, uncheck Protect document for, and enter your password and click OK.

After that, Track Changes will still be still on, but you'll be able to accept and reject changes.

Turn off Track Changes

On the Review tab, turn off Track Changes. Word stops marking up new changes—but all of the changes that were already tracked will still be in the document. If you want to remove the tracked changes and comments, you can.

When you work on a document that is stored on a supported server, you can click Save to save any changes that you have made to the document on the server. This also stores the previous version of the document and updates the document that you are viewing with any changes that are made by other authors.

Important: You can save to any Windows Live OneDrive or to a server that has Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. To work with SharePoint in Office for Mac, you have to have Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business 2011, Microsoft Office for Mac Academic 2011, or Microsoft Office for Mac Standard 2011.

Turn tracked changes on or off

When tracked changes are turned on, Word marks any changes that are made by any authors of the document. This is useful when you are collaborating with other authors because you can see which authors made a particular change.

  1. Open the document that you want to edit.

  2. On the Review tab, under Tracking, click the Track Changes switch to turn on track changes.

    Review tab, Tracking group

    Tips: 

    • Each reviewer's changes are displayed in a different color. If there are more than eight reviewers, colors are reused.

    • To assign a specific color to your own tracked changes, on the Word menu, click Preferences, and then under Output and Sharing, click Track Changes  Word Tracked Changes Preferences button . In the Color boxes, select the color that you want.

    • The reviewer's name, the date and time that the change was made, and the kind of change that was made (for example, Deleted) also appear in the markup balloons for each change. If you're not displaying markup balloons, this information appears when you hover over a change.

    • The Highlight Changes options on the Tools > Track Changes menu (Highlight changes on screen, Highlight changes in printed document) and the options on the Review tab pop-up menu (Final Showing Markup, Final, Original Showing Markup, Original) are not saved settings. If you don't want tracked changes to display when you re-open the document, you need to accept or reject the changes. If you want a record of the revisions, save a copy of the document before accepting or rejecting changes.

Show tracked changes or comments by type or by reviewer

You can show or hide a document's comments, formatting, insertions, and deletions or view comments for only the reviewers that you select.

  • On the Review tab, under Tracking, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, click the option that you want.

    Review tab, Tracking group

    Tip: To display a shaded background behind the area where tracked changes or comments appear in the right margin, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, select Markup Area Highlight. This shaded area also prints with your document to help separate the document text from the tracked changes or comments.

Turn off tracked changes in balloons

By default, insertions, deletions, comments, the reviewer's name, and a time stamp are displayed in balloons that appear in the margins of your document. You can change your settings to display tracked changes in the body of the document.

  1. On the Review tab, under Tracking, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, click Preferences.

    Review tab, Tracking group

  2. Do one of the following:

To

Do this

Display tracked changes in the body of the document instead of in balloons

Clear the Use balloons to display changes check box.

Hide the reviewer's name and the time and date stamp in balloons

Clear the Include reviewer, time stamp, and action buttons check box.

Note: With balloons turned off, commented text is enclosed in brackets, highlighted by a color, and identified by the reviewer's initials. Comments appear in a small pop-up window when you rest the pointer over commented text, except when your document is in publishing layout view.

Change the formatting of tracked changes

You can customize how revision mark appear and work in Word.

  1. On the Review tab, under Tracking, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, click Preferences.

    Review tab, Tracking group

  2. Select the options that you want. The following table lists some frequently used formatting options.

To

Do this

Change the color and other formatting that Word uses to identify changes

Under Markup, select the formatting options that you want on the pop-up menus.

Indicate deletions without displaying the text that was deleted

Under Markup, on the Deletions pop-up menu, click # or ^.

Deleted text will be replaced with the character # or ^.

Alter the appearance of changed lines

Under Markup, on the Changed lines and Colors pop-up menus, select the options that you want.

Track text that is moved

Under Moves, click Track moves, and then on the Moved from, Moved to, and Color pop-up menus, select the options that you want.

Change the color that Word uses to mark changes that are made to table cells

Under Table cell highlighting, on the Inserted cells, Deleted cells, Merged cells, and Split cells pop-up menus, select the options that you want.

Review tracked changes and comments

You can review and accept or reject each tracked change in sequence, accept or reject all changes at one time, delete all comments at one time, or review the items that are created by a specific reviewer.

  1. If revision marks don't appear in the document, on the Tools menu, point to Track Changes, click Highlight Changes, and then select the Highlight changes on screen check box.

  2. Do one of the following:

To

On the Review tab, do this

Then do this

Review the next change

Under Changes, click Next

Click Accept or Reject.

Review the previous change

Under Changes, click Previous

Click Accept or Reject.

Accept all changes at one time

Under Changes, click the arrow next to Accept

Click Accept All Changes in Document.

Reject all changes at one time

Under Changes, click the arrow next to Reject

Click Reject All Changes in Document.

Delete all comments at one time

Under Comments, click the arrow next to Delete

Click Delete All Comments in Document.

Review items created by a specific reviewer

Under Tracking, click Show Markup

Point to Reviewers, and then clear all check marks except the one next to the name of the reviewer whose changes you want to review.

To select or clear the check boxes for all reviewers in the list, click All Reviewers.

Note: When you rest the pointer on a tracked change, a ScreenTip appears that displays the author's name, the date and time of the change, and the kind of change that was made.

Print tracked changes

Tracked changes can be useful to include in a printed version of a document.

  1. Open the document that contains the tracked changes that you want to print.

  2. On the File menu, click Print.

  3. On the Copies & Pages pop-up menu, click Microsoft Word.

    Tip: If you don't see the Copies & Pages pop-up menu, click the blue downward facing arrow to the right of the Printer pop-up menu.

  4. On the Print What pop-up menu, click Document showing markup.

See also

Insert, delete, or change a comment

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

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.

×