Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Changing How Changes are Noted in Word.

Changing How Changes are Noted in Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2019)

If you use the Track Changes feature of Word, you know how your document looks as you make changes. Added text is shown in some different color, and deleted text is shown with a strikethrough or in balloons to the side of your text. You may want to change how Word shows your changed text. Fortunately, Word allows you great flexibility in this area.

To make your configuration changes, follow these steps if you are using Word 2007 or Word 2010:

  1. Make sure the Review tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Within the Tracking group, click the down arrow under the Track Changes tool.
  3. In the resulting submenu, click Change Tracking Options. Word displays the Track Changes Options dialog box.

If you are using Word 2013 or a later version, the steps are slightly different:

  1. Make sure the Review tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Click the small icon at the bottom-right 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 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box.

Both the Track Changes Options dialog box (Word 2007 and Word 2010) and the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box (later versions of Word) are essentially the same. Using the controls in these dialog boxes, Word allows you to change a wide variety of options relative to how changes are tracked. These are the major sections of the dialog boxes:

  • Markup. Use these options to specify how text insertions, deletions, and other edits should appear. You can also specify how comments should be noted.
  • Moves. This section allows you to specify how moved items should be marked within a document. (This option, new to Word 2007, is unavailable when working on a document saved in an older Word format.)
  • Table Cell Highlighting. When you make changes to the structure of tables, these settings are used to mark the changes.
  • Formatting. Here's where you can specify how you want to format text whose formatting has been changed. (Again, this seems rather circular to me.)
  • Balloons. Some editing changes (particularly deletions) are noted using balloons. The settings in this section allow you to specify how those balloons should appear in the document.

It is important to note that All Markup (click the Display For Review tool in the Tracking group and select All Markup from the drop-down list) should be selected in order to display all the tracked changes you specified in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6087) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing How Changes are Noted in Word.

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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