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Indiana Wesleyan University Support Knowledge Base

Track Changes

aka: Document Markup; Comments; Revisions
See:Remove Document Markup

Understanding the Track Changes feature

If you see strikethrough, underlining, and comment balloons off to the side of your Word document, you may have turned on the the Track Changes or Comments feature in Word. Typically, when Word tracks changes, it displays deletions with strikethrough formatting and insertions as underlined text. Both deletions and insertions—as well as comments (or “annotations”)—can be displayed in balloons in the page margin.

There are various ways to hide the revisions or comments—but all the revisions that were made while the Track Changes feature was turned on and all the comments that were inserted remain part of the document until they are accepted or rejected (or, in the case of comments, deleted).

Note Turning off Track Changes does not remove the revision marks or comments from the document. Instead, turning off Track Changes enables you to modify the document without storing insertions and deletions and displaying them as strikethrough, underlining, or balloons.

How do I get rid of my revisions?

To get rid of tracked changes and comments, you need to accept or reject the changes and delete the comments.
See:Remove Document Markup

Hide Tracked Changes And Comments When Printing

On the File menu, click Print.

Note: If you have turned on the warning for printing, saving, or sending files with markup (markup: Comments and tracked changes such as insertions, deletions, and formatting changes. View markup when you want to process tracked changes and comments. Print a document with markup to keep a record of changes made to a document.), you must turn the warning off to access the Print dialog box. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the Security tab, and then clear the Warn before printing, saving, or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments check box. Remember to turn this back on when you are finished printing, if you want to resume being warned.

In the Print dialog box, in the Print what box, select Document (rather than Document showing markup). Click OK.

How Did Those Revisions And Comments Get There?

You may have thought that you removed the comments or revisions, or you may have received the document from someone else without realizing that it contained comments or revisions. How does Word store these items without you being aware of them?

You or the person who sent the document may have hidden the revisions or comments. Hiding them does not remove them, however; they remain in the document. Depending on your version of Word and the settings you are using, the revisions or comments may reappear when you or someone else opens the document.

If you don't want others to see revisions and comments, accept or reject the revisions and delete the comments before you share the document with others. This is the case no matter which version of Word you are using, because anyone who opens the document can easily display existing revisions or comments.

Note If you use Word 2003, you are less likely to inadvertently distribute documents that contain revision marks and comments, because Word 2003 displays the revisions and comments by default.

Where Revisions And Comments May Be Hiding

There are several ways to hide revision marks and comments, which may lead you to think that they are not in the document.

Note To display the Reviewing toolbar, point to Toolbars on the View menu, and then click Reviewing.

Display For Review Box

On the Reviewing toolbar, the Display for Review box provides four options for viewing your document. If you select Final or Original, revision marks and comments are hidden. To display the revision marks, select Final Showing Markup or Original Showing Markup.

Show menu

You can hide comments and revisions by turning them off on the Show menu on the Reviewing toolbar. Items that are marked with a check mark on the Show menu are displayed; items without a check mark are hidden. To display an item, such as Insertions and Deletions, select it on the Show menu.

Option for hiding markup

In Word 2003, the Make hidden markup visible when opening or saving option may be turned off. To turn on the option, click Options (Tools menu), and then, on the Security tab, select the Make hidden markup visible when opening or saving check box. Why Word 2003 displays revisions and comments by default

To prevent you from inadvertently distributing documents that contain revision marks and comments that you don't realize are in the document, Word 2003 displays revision marks and comments by default. Word 2003 implements a new option, Make hidden markup visible when opening or saving, which is turned on by default.

Can I have it both ways?

If you want to preserve revision marks or comments in a document, and you want to share the document without others seeing the revisions and comments, the best solution is to keep separate copies of the document: one for distribution and one for yourself. In the public version of the document, accept or reject all revision marks and delete all comments, as described in this article. In the private version of the document, you can leave the revisions and comments in place.

Applies to Microsoft Word 2003.

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