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Accepting All Formatting Changes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Accepting All Formatting Changes.

Graciela has a huge document with many changes that were made with Track Changes turned on. Some of these changes are formatting changes and some of them are of other types, such as textual edits. Graciela would like to accept all the formatting changes but not the other types of changes. She is curious of there is an "accept all" command that will accept only the formatting changes.

It is relatively easy to accomplish this task. Just follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Review tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Click the Show Markup tool (in the Tracking group). Word displays some options that control what changes are shown.
  3. Clear all the checkmarks, except the Formatting checkmark. (You will need to repeat step 2 for each checkmark you need to remove.)
  4. Click the down-arrow under the Accept tool (in the Changes group). Word displays some different ways you can accept changes.
  5. Choose Accept All Changes Shown. All the formatting changes (which is all that are shown) are accepted. (Don't select Accept All Changes in Document; that would accept all the changes whether they are shown or not.)
  6. Use the Show Markup tool to select which changes you want Word to show.

If you find yourself getting rid of the formatting changes quite a bit, you can instruct Word to not track formatting changes at all. Follow these steps if you are using Word 2007 or Word 2010:

  1. Make sure the Review tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Click the down-arrow under the Track Changes tool (in the Tracking group) and then click Change Tracking Options. Word displays the Track Changes Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Track Changes Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Track Formatting check box.
  5. Click OK.

If you are using Word 2013, follow these steps instead:

  1. Make sure the Review tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Click the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Tracking group. Word displays the Track Changes Options dialog box.
  3. Click the Advanced Options button. Word displays the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box.

  5. Clear the Track Formatting check box.
  6. Click OK to close the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box.
  7. Click OK to close the Track Changes Options dialog box.

Now Word won't track any of the formatting changes you make in the document. If you find that the setting is not persistent from one Word session to another, you can create a small macro to run whenever a document is opened. Simply add this single line to the macro:

ActiveDocument.TrackFormatting = False

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8834) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Accepting All Formatting Changes.

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Comments for this tip:

Sidyolly    18 Oct 2016, 15:08
Thank you so much. Excellent answer!!
Judy    21 Jan 2016, 12:50

I have an existing word document that I have Tracking change on. I have formatted changes that are linked to a numbered titled and the Accept Format Change option is not available. It shows Accept Change and Reject Change of which neither of them do anything. The text box that shows the changes is stil there. Do you have any idea how to resolve?
Galina    25 Nov 2015, 13:12
Excellent tips and clear guidance. thanks a lot! it save a lot of precious time.
JM    24 Nov 2015, 11:19
Thanks Allen - you saved me hours here.
Ken Endacott    07 Nov 2015, 06:17
John Samuel

The following macro will open each document in the directory of the active document, remove all comments and close the document.

Sub BulkRemoveComments()
Dim fl As String
Dim aComment As Comment
Dim mydir As String
  mydir = ActiveDocument.Path
  fl = Dir(mydir & "\" & "*.docx")
  Do While fl <> ""
     Documents.Open (mydir & "\" & fl)
     For Each aComment In ActiveDocument.Comments
     Next aComment
     Documents(fl).Close SaveChanges:=wdSaveChanges
    fl = Dir()
End Sub

If you want to also accept Track Change revisions then after the line Next aComment add the line:
    If ActiveDocument.Revisions.Count > 0 Then ActiveDocument.Revisions.AcceptAll
John Samuel    06 Nov 2015, 05:54
I have about 40-50 Word documents (.docx in Word 2010) all of which have review comments. I want to bulk accept all the comments in all the documents, without having to open the documents at all. Is that possible?

The closest that I have got a solution is to press Alt+R+A+D which is the keyboard shortcut to accept all comments in the document. But this still requires opening each document.

Any help is appreciated :)
amir    25 Oct 2015, 09:43
Thank you.
have good time.
Steve    21 Oct 2015, 15:52
Greatly appreciated!
JPS     25 Sep 2015, 10:03
Thank you! This really saved my bacon!
jim    24 Sep 2015, 14:34
regarding the note below that I left. I tried accepting one-at-time which worked, so I tried to accept all displayed changes and now it works. Thanks for your help! :)
jim    24 Sep 2015, 14:30
when I do this (and I have done it many times in other documents) there is no affect. The format change indications remain as is.
Chuck    17 Sep 2015, 15:57
saved me more time for goofing off!
Mewa    30 Jul 2015, 10:02
Thanks a million! :-)
Jacques    12 Jun 2015, 12:15
Amazing, thank you very much!
Mike    05 Jun 2015, 07:58
Thank you for the tip--it's awesome because about a hundred formatting changes were noted after about a dozen edits to some structured text in the document!
Vicky    12 May 2015, 12:38
THANK YOU!!! This is a huge timesaver!
gargi    27 Apr 2015, 14:54
thank you soo much!!
Peanut    16 Apr 2015, 07:22
Wow! That really helped - and explained so clearly and dummy-proofly.
Thank you very much Allen.
J A    13 Apr 2015, 08:34
Great tip!
Sonya    11 Feb 2015, 18:00
Thank you, this saved me a lot of right-clicking down through a document that had a lot of those pesky formatting changes! I've shared this tip with my colleagues :-)
Denis    29 Dec 2014, 03:30
Thanks for such simple, but so useful info!
Because there are a lot of formatting changes occur when you save a document with different languages and table in it.
GSB    12 Dec 2014, 05:08
Very useful tip!
Anita Thomson    11 Nov 2014, 09:54
I'm trying to accept changes in a document however each time I save, when I reopen it, all the changes are showing up again! What am I doing wong?? HELP!! Thanks, Anita
Sally    11 Sep 2014, 11:45
This helped tremendously. Thank you!
Cathy    05 Sep 2014, 07:28
That was brilliant. Thanks!
Sebnem    01 Sep 2014, 10:32
Andrew Ziem    13 Aug 2014, 16:17
Thank you for the useful tip :)
PR    29 Jul 2014, 17:57
Thanks for this tip - This made things look a bit cleaner while I was giving feedback.
Faye    17 Jul 2014, 09:18
Thanks you so much, saves me a lot of time.
Cara    11 Jun 2014, 14:37
THANK YOU!!! Accepting all of the formatting changes in this document will make my life so much easier. I knew how to turn it off when you start, but my partners won't take this step for me.


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