Making Word Stop at the End of a Document when Reviewing Changes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 13, 2016)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


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When Liz is in the process of reviewing tracked changes, she routinely uses the tools on the Review tab of the ribbon to move to the next change. In Word 2007, using the Next tool would stop after displaying the last change in the document. In current versions of Word, it doesn't stop. If Liz clicks Next when the last change in the document is displayed, Word then displays the first change in the document. She wonders if there is a setting she can change that will cause Word to stop when she is reviewing changes and the end of the document is reached.

In all versions of Word that I've tested, I've noted that Word never stops at the end of your document—it stops when it reaches the point where the review started. So, for instance, if the insertion point is a quarter of the way through the document, when the end of the document is reached, Word automatically wraps to the beginning of the document and continues with the review until it reaches that beginning point, a quarter way through the document.

This brings up an interesting "gotcha" when reviewing changes in a document. Let's say that Word displays a tracked change half way through the document, and as you are reviewing that change to resolve it, you see something else in the surrounding text that needs to be changed. If you make that change and then click to view the next tracked change, as far as Word is concerned you have started the review process all over again—it will continue bringing up changes that need reviewing until it again reaches this new starting point.

Now, that being said, when you review track changes, Word goes through all the document text, all the formatting, and any footnotes or endnotes. It also highlights changes in cross-references and fields. The point is that Word won't stop at the end of your document if there is "non document" text that contains changes that need to be reviewed.

All of these factors, taken together, can make it seem like the review process never ends. It will end; it just takes a bit of time to go through all of the changes one complete time, without interruption. When done, Word actually displays a message indicating that it is done or, in some cases, asking if you want to continue looking for changes from the beginning of the document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (620) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is five less than 5?

2022-06-10 11:53:41

Caballera

My issue is with Find/Replace. Often, I want to find all instances of a particular word/character and then review them one by one throughout the document to check if the right version/capitalization/etc. is used. When doing this, if I do not change the word, and simply click "next", it will go back to the beginning and keep checking infinitely. I would not have a problem with it going back to the original start spot; that would be perfectly fine, but it doesn't stop. I often find I've gone through the document 5 times before I realize I am just going in circles. This used to not be the case; there was a message that Word had reached the end of the document. How can I get it to stop?


2016-08-13 17:28:38

Lew

Nice explanation of the mechanics. I gather that the short answer is "can't do anything but live with it". And I agree, except there is one thing that might make it a little better. Before searching, press Ctl + Home to locate the cursor at the beginning of the document. Then, as you stated, it will stop when it encounters the start point.


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