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Use Word's Track Changes features when you share a document with others to review and edit.
Tracking Changes to a Document
Microsoft Word 2016
Table of Figures 2
Word Track Changes 3
Track Changes Options 4
To turn on Track Changes 6
Protect Document to Lock Track Changes Mode 6
Review Changes made by Others 8
to Turn Off Track Changes Lock 11
Accepting and Rejecting Changes 12
Comparing Two Documents 13
Compare Two Versions of a Document 13
Combine Two Versions of a Document 16
Table of Figures
Figure 1 Word Review Tab 4
Figure 2 Track Changes Options Dialog 4
Figure 3 Advanced Track Changes Options Dialog 5
Figure 4 To Turn on Track Changes 6
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Track%20Changes%20to%20a%20Document.docxFigure 5 Restrict Editing Pane 7
Figure 6 Start Enforcing Protection Dialog Window 7
Figure 7 Lock Tracking Command 7
Figure 8 Page Showing Simple Markup 8
Figure 9 Vertical Reviewing Pane 9
https://d.docs.live.net/efc8c16712f0229d/Public/Word%20Help/Track%20Changes%20to%20a%20Document.docxFigure 10 Balloon Options 10
Figure 11 Markup Shown in "Balloons" 10
Figure 12 All Markup Displayed Inline 11
Figure 13 Previous and Next Commands 11
Figure 14 Accept and Reject Commands 12
Figure 15 Compare Command 13
Figure 16 Compare Documents Dialog 13
Figure 17 Completed Compare Documents Dialog 14
Figure 18 Word Compare Documents Layout 15
Figure 19 Show Source Documents Command 15
Figure 20 Accept and Reject Commands 16
Figure 21 Combine Documents Dialog 16
Word Track Changes
Microsoft Word has a Track Changes facility that allows you to share a document with others for review and editing, but which enables you to review what changes have been made by which people. You may then choose to accept or reject individual changes to produce a final document.
In the past, reviewers were probably sent a copy of your original document by email and each reviewer made their own changes and sent their version back to you via email. If you had two or more such replies, you then had to use the Compare Documents and/or the Combine Documents features of Word to bring the various changes from those multiple reviewers back into one master document.
Today we are able to share the document in the Cloud so that multiple reviewers are able to edit the one copy of the document, avoiding the problem of multiple copies. OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint are excellent ways of sharing one copy of a document in this way.
Track Changes Options
The steps to follow are:
Create your document ready to share in the Cloud or to email to the recipient(s).
Select the Review Tab in the Word Ribbon
Figure 1 Word Review Tab
There are various tracking options that may be set right on the Ribbon, but some options are set in a dialog window.
In the Tracking Group of commands, click on the launcher in the bottom-right corner.
Figure 2 Track Changes LauncherLauncher
The Track Changes Options dialog window opens:
Figure 2 Track Changes Options Dialog
In the Track Changes Options dialog, you can turn options on and off by checking or clearing the box next to the feature name. You can also change where the reviewing pane is displayed and how much markup to show in balloons (more on this later in this document).
The Track Changes Options dialog is the only place to turn off reviewer’s pictures. Clear the Pictures By Comments check box to turn reviewer pictures off.
Click on the Advanced Options… Button to see more options:
Figure 3 Advanced Track Changes Options Dialog
You are able to set various options for how Word marks changes to the document, though the default options are usually sufficient. All changes made to the document, once Track Changes has been turned on, will be marked with the User Name of the person making the changes (as stored in their Word options). The Change User Name command is a quick way to open the Word Options window to check, and change if necessary, your name.
To turn on Track Changes
Figure 4 To Turn on Track Changes
Choose Track Changes from the drop-down list in Figure 4, or simply click on the top half of the Track Changes Command Button.
Every change made to the document will now be tracked. This includes any changes you now make. See the sample document from Figure 8 Page Showing Simple Markup onwards showing how changes are tracked.
Protect Document to Lock Track Changes Mode
The problem is that the third parties we share the document with may turn the tracking off before altering the document and you would not then know if they altered the document without a document comparison.
To lock the Tracking feature on before sharing the document, do this:
Still in the Review Tab of the Word Ribbon, click on the Restrict Editing Command in the Protect Group. The Restrict Editing Pane will appear.
Figure 5 Restrict Editing PaneTick the box labelled Allow only this type of editing in the document
In the drop-down list beneath this check-box, select Tracked changes
Click on the button labelled Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. A dialog window will open for you to enter a password. By entering a password you are preventing the recipient from turning off the Track Changes feature, because they do not know the password. You must remember the password however so that you can turn it off when the document has been reviewed by the third parties. Take a note of the password in a linked OneNote notebook, or by using a tool such as KeyPass.
Note the warning that this is not a high-security measure. It is possible to break this password if you are determined to do so. Using a longer password will hamper this, as does a more complex password (one with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and other characters). Never use words that you may find in a dictionary in any part of your password.
Figure 6 Start Enforcing Protection Dialog Window
A quick way to lock the document for change tracking is to click on the lower section of the Track Changes Command and choose Lock Tracking.
Figure 7 Lock Tracking Command
Now that you have locked the Track Changes feature on for this document, it is ready to share with the third parties. This may be achieved by emailing a copy to them, but the more modern approach is to share the document via OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint or other Cloud repository.
What happens when the third parties have finished making changes?
Review Changes made by Others
You open the document and view any changes made, including any inserted comments, using the commands in the Tracking and the Changes Groups of the Review Tab of the Ribbon. If the top dropdown box in the Tracking Group is showing Simple Markup, you will see coloured lines in the margin to show where modifications have been made:
Figure 8 Page Showing Simple Markup
If more than one person has made alterations, they will be shown in different colours and their name will be recorded against each change.
Using the Reviewing Pane
Choose the Reviewing Pane Vertical… option in the Reviewing Pane dropdown to see:
Figure 9 Vertical Reviewing Pane
At the top of the Reviewing Pane you click to see a summary of the types of revisions made. You may also double-click on the title line of each change listed in the pane (the line with the person’s name in it) to jump to that change in the document. The Reviewing Pane may also be viewed horizontally, and may be floated or docked on the other side of the document.
Showing Markup in “Balloons”
Figure 10 Balloon OptionsDrop down the Show Markup Command to choose to see changes in “balloons”. In earlier versions of Word this did actually show the changes in callout balloons, but now Word shows an additional area on the right-hand side of the page where the changes are listed:
Figure 11 Markup Shown in "Balloons"
To turn off balloons, choose the option Show All Revisions Inline.
Showing Detailed Markup
Change the top dropdown to All Markup to see detailed changes inline in the body of the text:
Figure 12 All Markup Displayed Inline
You may use the Previous and Next Commands in the Changes Group to jump to the changes that have been made.
Figure 13 Previous and Next Commands
As you review the changes you will want to use the Accept and Reject Commands for each of the changes that have been made. To use the Accept and Reject Commands you must firstly turn off the protection.
to Turn Off Track Changes Lock
Display the Restrict Editing Pane again by clicking on the Restrict Editing Command in the Ribbon.
Click on the Stop Protection Button. You will be prompted for the password that you entered when you turned the protection on.
Accept and Reject changes one-by-one or all at once using the Command buttons in the ribbon, the entries in the Reviewing Pane, or the balloons (if you have turned this option on).
Alternatively, click on the lower section of the Track Changes Command and choose Lock Tracking. You will be prompted for the password to unlock the protection.
Accepting and Rejecting Changes
As you review each change made by others, you decide to accept the change and incorporate it into the final document, or reject the change and revert to your original version. Use the Accept and Reject Commands by clicking on the top portion, or click on the lower portion of each to see more options:
Figure 14 Accept and Reject Commands
Once you have reviewed all changes and decided to accept or reject them, don’t forget to turn Track Changes off if you no longer wish to monitor future changes to the document.
Comparing Two Documents
There are also features in Word for comparing two documents and for combining changes from several copies of the same document that you have sent to multiple third parties. You may need to use these functions if you have not turned on Track Changes and/or have emailed out multiple copies for review (even with Track Changes turned on).
Remember the better approach today is to share the document with reviewers via OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint. This way they are making their changes to a single copy of the document.
Compare Two Versions of a Document
Drop down the Compare Command in the Review Tab of the Ribbon and choose the Compare… subcommand:
Figure 15 Compare Command
The Compare Documents Dialog appears. Click on the More>> button to see all of the options Word will use when comparing the documents:
Figure 16 Compare Documents Dialog
In the Original document drop-down list you will see recently accessed documents, or click on the folder icon to browse for the original document. In the Revised document drop-down you may similarly choose a recently accessed file, or use the folder icon to browse for the modified version of the document.
My example will keep it simple with a short product name list that I have sent to others for suggestions. Because the two files will usually have the same name, type an appropriate label for the changes made in the second document:
Figure 17 Completed Compare Documents Dialog
I have also changed to Character level comparison in the options. If a reviewer makes a change to the characters inside one word (such as changing the capitalisation of the first character, or changing the word “to” to “too”), you will see this detailed change rather than Word showing that the whole word was replaced with another word.
It is safer, in my opinion, o leave the Show changes in: option set to New Document, so that, if you make a mistake, or change your mind, you do not overwrite your original document.
Click OK to see the comparison:
Figure 18 Word Compare Documents Layout
If you do not see the 3-pane layout, click on the Compare command in the Ribbon again and choose Show Source Documents then Show Both:
Figure 19 Show Source Documents Command
I also have Show Revisions in Balloons turned on.
In the right-hand panes you will see the original list and Fred’s changed list. The central pane shows the tracked changes and the Revisions pane lists them. Use the Previous, Next, Accept and Reject commands to process the changes:
Figure 20 Accept and Reject Commands
Once you have processed the changes, save the combined changes in a new version of the document. Repeat the process with this new document version if you need to combine changes from another person.
Combine Two Versions of a Document
Combining two versions of a document is very similar to comparing as above. Select the two versions of the document and type the labels you wish to see for each document:
Figure 21 Combine Documents Dialog
In my simple product list example, you will see that all versions of the product names have ben combined:
You now have to process each version and accept or reject both your own version and the other person’s version. If you were to accept all changes, both your original text AND the changed text will be kept. Save the document once you have processed all changes.
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Once you have processed the changes, save the combined changes in a new version of the document. Repeat