How to Track and Review Changes in MS Word 2007
At some point when you are creating documents in Word you may need to team up with others. For instance you have created a newsletter and you want some input from others regarding the content and layout or you have finished drafting an article and you need the editor to go through the document recommend any additions or changes to the document. In such scenarios it is important to be able to track any changes and allow the original author of the document to accept or reject the recommended changes.
While looking over into the document it is easy to just go ahead and make changes to the document. But the author of the document who gets this back would not know exactly where you made the changes. In fact the author may not even like your recommended changes. So you should make it easy for the author.
To help you understand this better consider yourself as the one who has received the document for assessment and you have to check and give your feedback to the author. To begin tracking changes you first need to Open the document you want to get through > move to the ‘Review’ tab on the ribbon > in the ‘Tracking’ group you have some options including the ‘Track Changes’. Since there is a drop down, there are some more options to it like:
1. Track Changes: This option allows us to begin with tracking the changes to the document.
2. Change Tracking Options…: Change Tracking Options allows you to set display settings for any changes made to the document so that the changes stand out in the document, for the author to make out. These settings include Markup – Insertions, Deletions, Changed Lines and Comments. You set Formats like Underline is default for Insertions and you can change it to Double underline or bold. Display color can also be set from here. Similarly there are settings for Moves, Table cell highlighting, Formatting and Balloons.
3. Change User Name: If you are editing the document it is a good practice that you put your user name and initials as the person who is editing it. So if you need to enter these details click on this option. You may not need to change anything if you are using your own machine and not sharing it with anybody. When you click on this, you would be prompted with the ‘Word Options’ dialog box and ‘Popular’ word options are displayed. The section you require to modify is ‘Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office’. Enter the User Name and Initials.
Now that the options are all set, you can proceed with the track changes. Put on the Track Changes feature by clicking on Track Changes button and then select Track Changes from the drop down, in the Tracking section under View tab on the ribbon. The button gets highlighted indicating that now on any changes made to the document would be tracked.
NOTE: If you hover over your mouse on the changes that are made in the document, details are displayed such as who made the changes along with the date and time at which the change was incorporated in the document.
Inserting a Comment
To insert a comment go to the ‘Review’ tab on the ribbon, in the ‘Comments’ section select ‘New Comment’. This inserts a comment balloon in the document at your current cursor position.
So you have to position your cursor exactly where you want the comment to be inserted. As you can see, the comment balloon is on the right hand side of the document, the bracket displays the initials of the modifier followed by the serial number of comment. This helps the author know who has made the comment if many people are collaborating on one document. You can enter your query or any text in this balloon. This comment will always be visible in the document. So the author can choose to make the change if he wishes when the document is sent back.
You can continue reviewing the document similarly and save all the changes and comments you have made in the document before sending it back to the author.
Review Changes and Comments
When you are the author of the document and you have sent it to your fellow members for any changes and feedback, you then either accept or reject those changes when the document comes back to you.
Now you would play the role of the author and review the document.
Open the document that has come back from your colleague who has made a few changes to your document. From the appearance of the text you would be able to make out where modifications are made. You can choose to review your document either on your own by scanning the whole document and then accept or reject the changes by clicking on them or you can let Microsoft Word find them and move you from one change to the next and then you can decide if the changes need to be accepted.
Go to the Review tab on the ribbon and select the Track Changes button and turn back the Track Changes option on. Next to this section you can find the ‘Changes’ section which allows you to Accept, Reject and move between the various changes.
‘Accept’ button has a drop down with various options to choose according to your need. To accept the current change and move to the next change recommended select Accept and Move to Next. To accept the change and stop there select Accept Change and if you wish to accept all the changes at once select Accept All Changes in Document.
Similar options are available for ‘Reject’ changes.
Accept or Reject Comments
Comments are not actual changes in the documents; they are some text displayed in balloons. You can act upon the comments by making certain changes in your document. After you have made the necessary modifications in the document, accept the changes by clicking on Accept Change or Accept and Move to Next. Then delete the comment as you wouldn’t want your final document with any comments in it. To delete the comment, click Delete from the Comments section in Review tab on the ribbon or right click to find option Delete Comment. You can also traverse through the other comments with the help of ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ buttons in the same section.
Review a summary of tracked changes
This feature can be used to make sure that all the comments are removed from the document, so that anybody else who reads the document doesn’t find any comments in it. To review this summary, select Reviewing Pane from the Tracking section on View tab. You can view the reviewing pane vertically or horizontally on the page by selecting Reviewing Pane Vertical or Reviewing Pane Horizontal from the drop down menu of Reviewing Pane.
To view the number of each type of change, click ‘Show Detailed Summary’.
Review changes by type of change or by a specific reviewer
To review changes by the type of edit:
On the Review tab, in the Tracking section click on the arrow next to Show Markup.
Clear all check boxes except for the ones next to the types of changes that you want to review.
To review changes by a specific reviewer:
In the same section click on the arrow next to Show Markup, point to Reviewers, and then clear all the check marks except for the ones next to the names of the reviewers whose changes you wish to review. To select or clear the check marks for all reviewers in the list, click All Reviewers.
Display for Review:
You can choose how to view the proposed changes to the document. For this feature select the arrow next to Final Showing Markup which is the default setting in the Tracking section on the Review tab. Final Showing Markup shows what changes have been proposed. Final setting shows the document with all proposed changes included; and Original shows the document before any changes were made.
In this article we learnt how to track and review changes made to a document which would help you working with Microsoft Word 2007 in a team. I hope this article was useful and I thank you for viewing it.
This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.
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