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: Rejecting Changes in a Document.

Rejecting Changes in a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 10, 2018)

Many people use Word's Track Changes feature to facilitate the editing of a document. Consider the following scenario: Two authors are tracking changes in the same document. Mr. Smith's changes are shown in red and he deletes a sentence. Ms. Doe's changes are shown in blue, but she wants the sentence to stay in. She rejects Mr. Smith's change, which changes the text back to unmarked text. Ms. Jones wants a way to show Ms. Doe's rejection in blue so that Mr. Smith will be aware that an actual rejection took place.

Unfortunately, this scenario does not describe the way in which Track Changes was ever intended to be used. When you track changes by author, then each author's changes are supposed to be reflected in the document. Accepting and rejecting changes is only supposed to be done as a final step, when you are resolving all the edits done. In other words, accepting or rejecting changes is not an intermediate step, to be done by one editor in a string of editors that will handle a particular document.

The solution is for Ms. Doe to simply leave Track Changes turned on, delete Mr. Smith's changes, and type in her own. Basically, she is changing his changes, making her own edits. The fact that her edits essentially undo his edits is beside the point; her edits should be made exactly as his. This allows the final editor—the one charged with resolving all the changes—to see what was done by every person along the editing path.

If Ms. Doe needs to make an explanation as to why she changed Mr. Smith's original edits, then the best way to do that is to use Word's Comment feature. Simply make the edits (edit Mr. Smith's changes to revert the sentence back to its original form), insert a comment, and provide the reasoning. Again, the final editor, while resolving all the earlier edits, can read the comment to help decide whether to accept Mr. Smith's changes or reject his changes by accepting those made by Ms. Doe.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9691) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Rejecting Changes in a Document.

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

Pulling Cell Names into VBA

Excel allows you to define names that can refer either to ranges of cells or to constant information, such as formulas. ...

Discover More

Pop-Up Comments for Graphics

Excel allows you to add comments to individual cells in a worksheet, but what if you want to add comments to graphics? ...

Discover More

Keeping an Image Centered in a Table Cell

Tables are often used in Word documents to help with page layout. This may lead you to inserting images within the cells ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Protecting Your Revisions

Want to protect your documents so that people can't edit them without you knowing about it? One way is to make sure that ...

Discover More

Tracked Changes Won't Go Away

Track Changes is a great tool when editing a document, but the ways that it affects your document can sometimes be ...

Discover More

Changing Revision Bar Thickness

Ever wonder how to customize the way the Track Changes feature displays revision bars at the side of changed material? ...

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 0 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.