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: Changing How Changes are Noted in Word.

Changing How Changes are Noted in Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2018)

4

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, 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 (Word 2013) 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.

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, and 2013. 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Selecting Combo Boxes in Locked Worksheets

Once you protect a worksheet, you may run into problems with any combo boxes that the worksheet contains. This is a ...

Discover More

Resolving Revisions

You've reviewed the changes that were made to your workbook using the Highlight Changes tool. Now you need to remove the ...

Discover More

Age Calculation with Fields

People don't normally think of using fields to do any calculations. Even so, you can use fields to perform a simple ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Stopping Automatic Changes from Being Tracked

Track Changes is a great feature for keeping track of what gets changed in a document. There are some things (such as ...

Discover More

Using Track Changes

Track Changes is a valuable Word tool that allows you to automatically mark changes in your document. This is a great ...

Discover More

Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On

If you are editing a document with Track Changes turned on, Word won't let you delete a column in a table and have it ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven less than 9?

2018-06-02 10:56:55

Maureen

Adding an illustration...
(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. Sample text with added and deleted paragraphs that remain black


2018-06-02 10:54:56

Maureen

Thanks for these tips, but...help! I recently updated from Word 2007 to 2016, and I cannot figure out how to get Track Changes to show added and deleted paragraph marks (other than the vertical line at the left, which doesn't distinguish between adds and deletes). This feature is very useful to me when editing text, and without it I might have to consider a downgrade. :-(
{fig}


2017-04-27 18:06:20

Jan Narkiewicz

The Tracking ribbon has a drop down (Simple Markup, All Markup, etc.). You should include a write up on this b/c I'm guess it will solve @KathyKendall's problem. It solved mine (after I tried your approach too).


2014-09-04 11:38:32

kathy kendall

I tried using the guidance here and it did not work! so frustrating. i hate Word!!!

My edits/markup is not displaying in my document in color !!!

Please help!!


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.