How to Use Track Changes in Microsoft Word

706729 How to Use Track Changes in Microsoft Word

Track Changes is a useful feature in Microsoft Word that allows you to track the edits made to a document. This feature helps with collaborating on documents and reviewing changes made by others.

What is Track Changes

Track Changes is a tool that:

  • Records additions, deletions, and formatting changes made to a Word document
  • Displays changes in the document using different formatting and colors
  • Allows changes to be accepted or rejected
  • Shows who made each change

When Track Changes is turned on, any edits made will be visually marked in the document. This allows collaborators to see precisely what changes others have made.

Benefits of Track Changes

There are several key benefits to using Track Changes:

  • Collaboration – Allows seamless collaboration between multiple authors on a single document
  • Accountability – Attributes each change to a specific person so you know who changed what
  • Review process – Facilitates an efficient review process for accepting/rejecting changes
  • Edit history – Maintains a detailed record of edits made over time
  • Simplify changes – Changes stand out visually, making them easy to identify

How to Turn on Track Changes

  1. Open the Word document
  2. On the Review tab, click Track Changes Track Changes button
  3. The button will appear highlighted when Track Changes is enabled Track Changes on

Now any changes, additions, or deletions made will be shown with special formatting.

Viewing Tracked Changes

There are a few ways to control how tracked changes are displayed:

Change Views

  • Simple Markup – Changes shown with lines in the margin
  • All Markup – Changes shown with formatting within the text
  • No Markup – Hides the change markings
  • Original – Hides all changes to show the original text

Reviewing Pane

The Reviewing Pane provides an overview of changes:

  • Shows all revisions on the right side of the screen
  • Click a change to jump directly to it in the document

Working with Tracked Changes

You can work with changes made to accept, reject, or review them:


  • Accept Change – Makes that change permanent
  • Reject Change – Reverts the text to its original state
  • Accept All Changes – Makes all changes final

Review Changes

  • Step through each change using Next Change and Previous Change
  • Optionally add comments on changes

Tips for Using Track Changes

  • Name each version of the document as changes are made
  • Review display options if change markings become difficult to read
  • Turn off Track Changes when finished to remove markings
  • Use Accept All Changes to finalize the document

Collaborating with Track Changes

Track Changes excels when collaborating on documents:

  • Authors can make edits independently
  • Changes synchronize when documents are shared
  • Each author displays as a different color
  • Comments can discuss or query changes
  • Changes can be accepted or rejected individually

This allows fluid collaboration without losing accountability.


Track Changes brings excellent version control and transparency to collaborating on Word documents. The ability to track edits, attribute changes, add comments, and accept/reject revisions streamlines the review process. This saves considerable time and confusion when co-authoring a document.

Hopefully this guide has provided a good overview of how to use Track Changes effectively. The key is to embrace the feature early on, ensuring changes stand out visually. This will help avoid a messy document further down the track.

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