Track Changes and Comments

Understanding Track Changes


When you turn on Track Changes, every change you make to the document will appear as a colored markup. If you delete text, it won't disappear—instead, the text will be crossed out. If you add text, it will be underlined. This allows you to see edits before making the changes permanent.


If there are multiple reviewers, each person will be assigned a different markup color.


To turn on Track Changes:

  1. From the Review tab, click the Track Changes command.


Track Changes will be turned on. Now, any changes you make to the document will appear as colored markups.


Reviewing changes


Tracked changes are really just suggested changes. To become permanent, they must be accepted. On the other hand, the original author may disagree with some of the tracked changes and choose to reject them.


To accept or reject changes:

  1. Select the change you want to accept or reject.


From the Review tab, click the Accept or Reject command.


The markup will disappear, and Word will automatically jump to the next change. You can continue accepting or rejecting each change until you have reviewed them all.


When you're finished, click the Track Changes command to turn off Track Changes.


To accept all changes at once, click the Accept drop-down arrow, then select Accept All. If you no longer wish to track your changes, you can select Accept All and Stop Tracking.


Track Changes viewing options


If you have a lot of tracked changes, they may become distracting if you're trying to read through the document. Fortunately, Word provides a few different ways to customize how tracked changes appear, including the option tohide tracked changes.


To hide tracked changes:

  1. From the Review tab, click the Display for Review command. The Display for Review command is located to the right of the Track Changes command.


  1. In the drop-down menu, there are four options:
    • Simple Markup: This shows the final version without inline markups. Red markers will appear in the left margin to indicate where a change has been made.
    • All Markup: This shows the final version with inline markups.
    • No Markup: This shows the final version and hides all markups.
    • Original: This shows the original version and hides all markups.
  2. Select the desired option from the drop-down menu. In our example, we'll select No Markup to preview the final version of the document before accepting the changes.


You can also click the marker in the left margin to switch between Simple Markup and All Markup.


Hiding Track Changes is not the same as reviewing changes. You will still need to accept or reject the changes before sending out the final version of your document.


To show revisions in balloons:


By default, most revisions appear inline, meaning the text itself is marked. You can also choose to show the revisions in balloons, which moves most revisions to the right margin. Removing inline markups can make the document easier to read, and balloons also give you more detailed information about some markups.

  1. From the Review tab, click Show Markup  Balloons Show Revisions in Balloons.


Most revisions will appear in the right margin, although any added text will still appear inline.


To go back to inline markups, you can select either Show All Revisions Inline or Show Only Comments and Formatting in Balloons.




Sometimes you may want to add a comment to provide feedback instead of editing a document. While often used in combination with Track Changes, you don't necessarily need to have Track Changes turned on to use comments.


To add comments:

  1. Highlight some text, or place the insertion point where you want the comment to appear.


From the Review tab, click the New Comment command.


Type your comment. When you're done, you can close the comment box by pressing the Esc key or by clicking anywhere outside the comment box.


You can also respond to an existing comment. Just click the Reply button and type your response.


To delete comments:

  1. Select the comment you wish to delete.


From the Review tab, click the Delete command.


  1. The comment will be deleted.

To delete all comments, click the Delete drop-down arrow and select Delete All Comments in Document.



Video Tutorial