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: Using Different Colors with Tracked Changes.

Using Different Colors with Tracked Changes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 29, 2013)

17

Deborah uses Track Changes to note edits made in a document. She made corrections in a document with Track Changes turned on, so her changes were in one color. Her boss reviewed the document and gave it back to her, asking that the next round of changes be in a different color than the first round was. Deborah wonders if there is a way to specify that her next set of changes be in a different color.

Word's Track Changes feature chooses markup colors based on the user name. To make future changes you need to alter the user name slightly. Here are the steps if you are using Word 2007 or Word 2010:

  1. Display the Review tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the down-arrow under the Track Changes option in the Tracking group.
  3. Choose Change User Name. Word displays the Popular options of the Word Options dialog box if you are using Word 2007. If you are using Word 2010 then it displays the General options of the Word Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The General options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Change the User Name field value by adding or deleting a middle initial or name or by adding a number to the end of the name.
  6. Change the Initials field to correspond more closely to the change you made in the User Name field.
  7. Click OK.

If you are using Word 2013 then the steps are a bit different:

  1. Display the Review tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the small arrow at the bottom-right of the Tracking group. Word displays the Track Changes Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The Track Changes Options dialog box.

  4. Click the Change User Name button. Word displays the General options of the Word Options dialog box.
  5. Change the User Name field value by adding or deleting a middle initial or name or by adding a number to the end of the name.
  6. Change the Initials field to correspond more closely to the change you made in the User Name field.
  7. Click OK.

Edits with Track Changes will now be in a new color. When the mouse hovers over a change, the new user name will be displayed. If you change the user name back to the original value, future edits will revert to color that was first assigned to that name.

When you are done, be sure to change your user name back to the original value so that other documents will be labeled with that name instead of a convoluted name for editing purposes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6083) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Different Colors with Tracked Changes.

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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Comments

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What is eight more than 8?

2017-06-07 07:03:26

Kirstie

I had the same problem with Word 2013, the colour did not change but I noticed underneath the box where you change your user and initials there is a tick box which says 'Always use these values regardless of sign in to Office'. I ticked this and clicked ok and this changed the colour of the new edtitions.


2017-04-18 08:27:50

Marie

solved my problem, thank you


2017-01-06 23:55:25

mohammed

thanks, that is helpfull


2016-03-31 21:21:37

Fanli

I think besides changing your username, you need to select "by author" in "change tracking options" from the arrow below the big "track changes" square/icon/button. There choose "by author" for everything you need to be distinguished, and you are set... if you only need the colors to be different, but doesn't care which colors represent which author. Unfortunately I'm here to find a tip that solve the latter problem, and as far as I've seen, it's not fixable!


2016-02-09 05:38:23

Janet McGhie

Using Windows 10 and the latest version of Word. This doesn't work.


2015-10-28 19:23:57

Steve

Thanks for suggestion to check the "Always use these values" box, tmg. Did the trick! {Now, why can't Microsoft make this process easier and self-explanatory?)


2015-07-10 12:52:00

Jay

Why has Microsoft not made an easier way to allow users to make and track changes in different colors for different people who are editing the same document? Users have been complaining about this feature missing since Word was first released. It is ridiculous that Microsoft hasn't made this an easy-to-use feature in all the releases and updates to Word that they have made.


2015-05-19 12:22:27

ChrystinP

This is random changes. I believe in prior editions of Word you could choose a color. Is it possible to define the color you wish to use?


2014-12-12 10:50:56

Amanda Geard

Yeah, except I can't find “Always use these values regardless of sign in to Office” on 2007. Could anyone tell me where it is because so far I'm getting nowhere with what I'm trying to do, which is to edit someone else's document in a way that my name or an initial appears when I make a comment and my suggested changes come up in a different colour from that in the original document. Trying to get this fixed is giving me a headache as I'm struggling here.


2014-11-21 12:02:25

Cheryl

The key is to check the box saying to use that value regardless of sign-in - if you don't, it uses whatever your Microsoft sign-in is, regardless of what you change the name to. Took me quite a while to figure this out!


2014-11-13 02:26:21

www.40daypublishing.com

Works Great! Started with version to edit. Made changes (appeared in red). Changed user name by adding a 2 to my name and made more changes (appeared in blue). When I changed my user name I checked the box for “Always use these values regardless of sign in to Office” just like 'tmg' advised here. After making 2 rounds of changes showing up as 2 different colors, I e-mailed the changed document to myself, opened up the file and everything showed up perfectly. Thank you for this training!


2014-10-28 14:01:25

tmg

Be sure to check, “Always use these values regardless of sign in to Office” under the UserName and Initials textbox.


2014-10-08 10:00:55

Mike K

Worked on Mac.

For Office Mac 2011 goto:
Word --> Preferences --> User information (in personal settings group). Change username by adding a letter, hit OK. Remove the added letter, hit OK. Done - you've got a new randomly assigned color with the same username.


2014-08-08 09:48:02

Diane Lee

After I had finished my project and attached it to an email to send to the person I was doing it for, I opened the saved document and everything DID show up in the proper colors -- it just didn't show up in the different colors while I was working on the project. But with comments made by several people, it would have been helpful to be able to see the different colors while working on the project, so I'm still interested in finding out if there is a way to do that.


2014-08-07 15:09:30

Chris

I also used directions above which generated the same results. The colors stayed the same.


2014-07-30 06:43:17

Deborah Gill

Same for me. The colour has stayed the same. Is there another fix perhaps? Thanks.


2014-07-29 17:00:02

Diane Lee

I have begun a second edit on a project that has comments from the previous editor and the original author. My comments are showing up in the same color and are hard to distinguish. I opened a new copy of the project and then did the above (2010)and made a change and a comment. The color stayed the same and so did the comment box. What am I doing wrong? And if I get it to do a different color, can I fix it so that the current comments will change or is it just going forward? Thanks.


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