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: Accepting All Formatting Changes.

Accepting All Formatting Changes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 3, 2020)

50

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 if 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 or a later version, 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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Accepting All Formatting 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Merge Fields

When creating a mail merge document, you use merge fields to indicate where the information from each record of your data ...

Discover More

Precise Ruler Adjustments

When adjusting the position of things on the ruler (like tab stops), you can use the Alt key to get very precise in your ...

Discover More

Setting Up an Array with Fields

One of the more esoteric ways to display data is with an "array," which is like a miniature inline table. This tip ...

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)

Removing the Time Stamp from Tracked Changes

When you have Track Changes turned on, Word helpfully tracks, well, "changes." In doing so, it also notes who made ...

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

Tracked Changes Notification when Opening

If you have Word configured to show markup on-screen and you look through a document, it is easy to tell where changes ...

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 six minus 1?

2021-04-08 13:08:22

Chris White

Thanks for the response, Andrew. I am not using any such program or setting, at least to my knowledge. My collaborator and I use Teams to hold daily chat discussions, but we don't access the Word docs via Teams. We load Word/Office 365 separately.


2021-04-07 09:24:55

Andrew

Chris, you may have accidentally accepted all changes (unlikely), or you may possibly have a setting or program that accepts all changes in documents sent by email as a security measure. Do you have Workshare running by any chance?

Andy.


2021-04-06 16:47:41

Chris White

Hey there, Allen! I had a weird situation occur with a couple of shared documents (shared via OneDrive). I made extensive changes in the docs with tracking ON, so that my writing partner could review them. However, when she opened the documents, there were no revisions left to inspect; all my changes had been made as if I had tracking OFF when I made them. I'm sure tracking was on, though, and I remember seeing the proposed revisions still there when I reopened the document a few hours before my partner did.

Any idea how this could have happened?

Thanks,
Chris


2021-01-20 11:07:17

Khairul

Thanks so much for the tips. It helps a lot.


2020-11-12 18:20:38

Zvi

Ken,
Thank you so much. You are brilliant and wonderful.
Zvi


2020-11-11 05:28:28

Ken Endacott

Zvi

The following macro will accept format changes for all of the document including headers, footers, endnotes and footnotes as well as in textboxes and textframes in shapes.

Sub AcceptFormatChanges2()
Dim rv As Revision
Dim stry As Range
Dim shp As Shape
On Error Resume Next
For Each stry In ActiveDocument.StoryRanges
For Each rv In stry.Revisions
If rv.FormatDescription <> "" Then rv.Accept
Next rv
For Each shp In stry.ShapeRange
With shp.TextFrame
If .HasText Then
For Each rv In .TextRange.Revisions
If rv.FormatDescription <> "" Then rv.Accept
Next rv
End If
End With
Next shp
Next stry
End Sub


2020-11-10 23:04:11

Zvi

Ken,
Your macro works great for changes in main document, but it ignores changes in footnotes and endnotes.
Would you be able to get it to work in the notes also?
Thanks so much in advance.
Zvi


2020-11-10 03:19:37

Zvi

Ken

Thanks so much

Zvi


2020-11-09 07:06:39

Ken Endacott

Zvi, macro for you

Sub AcceptFormatChanges()
Dim rv As Revision
For Each rv In ActiveDocument.Revisions
If rv.FormatDescription <> "" Then rv.Accept
Next rv
End Sub


2020-11-08 05:19:47

Zvi

Anyone know how to do this using a macro?


2020-09-03 10:45:53

David

This is really, really, really useful!


2020-02-11 15:16:47

Kristin

Great tip. Thank you for this resource!


2020-01-18 17:51:35

David

Thank you! Wish I would have found this sooner.


2019-09-16 05:27:28

Rita

Oh my goodness - this is amazing - thank you! The format changes have annoyed me for years. It has taken me so much time to individually go through each format change and press 'accept' whenever forwarding on a track changed document.


2019-03-26 14:01:35

Tod Granicher

Just brilliant. You saved me a ton of time, very much appreciated.

Why can't all Internet tutorials be this clear?


2018-11-21 10:36:22

Fi

Thank you! This has made my task much easier!


2017-07-05 03:51:04

Mr Didot

clear, concise and effective, thx


2017-06-22 10:53:13

Elle

Ok so I just wowed my colleagues by doing this :D. Thank you!


2017-05-05 08:54:51

MJBailey

This was the MOST helpful site. Quick, clear, step by step instructions. Thank you.


2017-03-03 13:57:12

YR

Life = Saved
Thank you!


2016-10-18 15:08:56

Sidyolly

Thank you so much. Excellent answer!!


2016-01-21 12:50:57

Judy

Hello,

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?


2015-11-25 13:12:43

Galina

Excellent tips and clear guidance. thanks a lot! it save a lot of precious time.


2015-11-24 11:19:15

JM

Thanks Allen - you saved me hours here.
J


2015-11-07 06:17:28

Ken Endacott

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
aComment.Delete
Next aComment
Documents(fl).Close SaveChanges:=wdSaveChanges
fl = Dir()
Loop
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


2015-11-06 05:54:46

John Samuel

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 :)


2015-10-25 09:43:04

amir

Thank you.
have good time.


2015-10-21 15:52:47

Steve

Greatly appreciated!


2015-09-25 10:03:35

JPS

Thank you! This really saved my bacon!


2015-09-24 14:34:50

jim

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! :)


2015-09-24 14:30:37

jim

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.


2015-09-17 15:57:32

Chuck

saved me more time for goofing off!


2015-07-30 10:02:42

Mewa

Thanks a million! :-)


2015-06-12 12:15:30

Jacques

Amazing, thank you very much!


2015-06-05 07:58:14

Mike

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!


2015-05-12 12:38:05

Vicky

THANK YOU!!! This is a huge timesaver!


2015-04-27 14:54:05

gargi

thank you soo much!!


2015-04-16 07:22:03

Peanut

Wow! That really helped - and explained so clearly and dummy-proofly.
Thank you very much Allen.


2015-04-13 08:34:24

J A

Great tip!


2015-02-11 18:00:56

Sonya

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 :-)


2014-12-29 03:30:59

Denis

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.


2014-12-12 05:08:59

GSB

Very useful tip!


2014-11-11 09:54:58

Anita Thomson

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


2014-09-11 11:45:15

Sally

This helped tremendously. Thank you!


2014-09-05 07:28:42

Cathy

That was brilliant. Thanks!


2014-09-01 10:32:32

Sebnem

THANK YOU!


2014-08-13 16:17:34

Andrew Ziem

Thank you for the useful tip :)


2014-07-29 17:57:32

PR

Thanks for this tip - This made things look a bit cleaner while I was giving feedback.


2014-07-17 09:18:07

Faye

Thanks you so much, saves me a lot of time.


2014-06-11 14:37:56

Cara

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.

Thanks!!!!


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.