Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On.

Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 3, 2017)
This tip applies to Word 2007 and 2010


1

If you are editing a document with Track Changes turned on, you know that it is a great tool for keeping a record of what was changed in a document. There is a problem, however—not all actions can be tracked. From an editing standpoint, one big thing that cannot be tracked is the deletion of columns in a table. You can delete rows and the edit is tracked just fine, but if you try to delete a column you'll see a dialog box that says "This action will not be marked as a change. Do you want to continue?" Choose Yes, and the edit is made (the column is deleted), but there is no change noted in the document. Choose No, and the deletion is abandoned.

There is no way to force Word to delete the column and track the change. This appears to be because deleting a column is too complex of an edit for Word to track. All you can do is come up with ways to work around the limitation.

One way is to select the column you want to delete and then press Ctrl+C. This copies the column to the Clipboard. You can then press the Del key, which lets Word know you want to delete the column. Assuming Track Changes is on, you'll see the dialog box mentioned earlier. Go ahead and click Yes, and the column is deleted. You can then insert a comment just before the table and, within the comment, press Ctrl+V to paste the deleted column into the comment. The result is that you delete the column but still keep "track" of what used to be contained within the column.

Another option is to copy the whole table and paste it beneath the original table. Then, delete the original table (select the whole thing and press Del) and delete the unwanted column from the newly pasted table. You then have the original in the document, marked correctly by Track Changes, and the inserted table that represents your final, edited table.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11074) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On.

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

Changing the Way Footnotes Are Numbered

Most footnotes in a document start numbering with the number 1 and proceed from there through the rest of your document. ...

Discover More

Searching for Borders

Want to find all the paragraphs in your document that have borders applied to them? The regular Find and Replace tool ...

Discover More

Converting European Dates to US Dates

Those in Europe use a date format that is different than those in the US; this is not news. But what if you need to ...

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)

Consolidating Changes under a Single User

When using Track Changes, you may want to have your edits appear to be those of a different user. Here's how to fool Word ...

Discover More

Disabling Track Changes Completely

Have you ever had problems with a document because you accidentally pressed a keyboard shortcut? The good news is that ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 one less than 8?

2016-05-23 19:42:56

Roderick Chappel

I KNOW that deleting columns will not be marked as a change. How do I stop Word 2010 telling me this EVERY time!


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.

Videos
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.