1. Technology

Track Changes Made to Word Documents

Part One: Turning on the Track Changes Feature


When collaborating on a document, it is often valuable to track changes you or other users make to the document.

Word’s Track Changes feature not only allows to you to see what changes have been made – it also allows you accept or reject all or some of the changes that have been made to the document, a powerful tool when it comes time to finalize the document.

Before you can take advantage of these options, you must first turn on the track changes feature by doing one of the following:

  • Select Track Changes from the Tools menu
  • Click the Track Changes button on the Reviewing toolbar
  • Use the Ctrl+Shift+E shortcut key
  • Double-click the TRK button on the status bar

The TRK button on the status bar will turn from gray to black, indicating that the feature is enabled.

Once the feature has been activated, changes will immediately be tracked. Any additions or insertions you make in the document will appear in underlined red text (text color may vary depending on options you specify and/or which user makes the change).

If you delete a portion of the document, a balloon containing the deleted text will appear in the right margin with a dotted line connecting it to its original location in the document. Further, a vertical black line will appear in the left margin indicating where changes have been made.

You can turn off the Track changes feature the same way you turned it on. Turning off the feature will not affect the changes that have already been tracked.

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