Track Changes

Using track changes mode allows you to recommend changes to another author without making them permanent or to accept or reject changes that are being recommended to you. When you enter text normally, changes may be difficult to identify because they appear as normal text. If you or another editor would like to highlight changes in your document, you can use track changes mode.

Identifying Track Changes

To begin using track changes, go to the Review tab and turn on the Track Changes button.

You'll be asked if you wish to track changes in the document or in just the active section. You can also choose multiple sections without activating this feature for the entire document through the Advanced option. After you choose how you want to track changes, click Apply to begin.

With track changes active, an indicator will appear on the left of any line where changes have been made (A). If you want to delete a word, phrase or entire section, just select the text and hit the delete button. Now the text is clearly marked with a strikethrough and red text color (B). Newly-entered text is a bright blue and is also underlined (C).

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In addition to these indicators, you can also see which sections have tracked changes in the outline. Sections with tracked changes will have a vertical blue indicator to the left of the section name.

Accepting and Rejecting Changes

As a document or section owner, when you receive a document with tracked changes, you can right-click the change to access the Accept and Reject options for the changes that have been made. You can also accept or reject selected parts of a lengthy change by highlighting a portion of the change and then choosing Accept or Reject from the pop-up menu. This allows you to accept some parts of a change and reject others. If you are not a document or section owner, you will only be able to reject changes that you have made.

You can also accept or reject all changes in a section or entire document. On the Review tab, click the Approval button and select the appropriate option.

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Making Changes in a Table

Track changes also works in table formats. Changes to numeric data in tables would usually be made in the workbooks that the data is linked from, but there may be occasions when changes are made directly to tables. When changes are made to table cells containing either text or numeric values, the cell will automatically double in row height so the new change can be reflected in the top half of the cell and the original view can be shown in the bottom half of the cell.

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If a change is made to text or numeric values within a table then the new information will appear underlined and in blue in the top half of the cell with the old information underneath with a line through it and red. If a cell containing information is deleted then you will not see anything in the top half of the cell but the bottom half will show the old information red with a line through it. In contrast, if you add information into a cell that was previously blank you will not see anything in the bottom half of the cell but the top half will contain the new information underlined and blue.

To insert a row in a table, select the row before or after where you want the new row, the right-click and choose either Insert Row Above or Insert Row Below depending on which is correct. The new row will be noted because the row number will be blue instead of black.

Inserting a new column is done using the same process only by choosing Insert Column Left or Insert Column Right. The new column letter will be in blue to show that this is a track change.

When inserting a new table it will be outlined in blue, the row numbers and column letters will be blue and and new text or numbers added will be blue with a blue underline. There will also be a blue vertical line to the left of the table to indicate a track change.

In contrast, when deleting a table it will be outlined in red and all the text and numbers within the table will turn red with a red strike through them. There will be a blue vertical line to the left of the table to indicate a track change.

You can hover your mouse over a change and a black dialog box will display letting the user know who made the change and what change was made. Accepting and rejecting changes in a table works the same way as described above. The only additional piece of information is that you can right click on a single cell and accept or reject the changes for just that cell if that is desired.

Tracking By Section

In the Track Changes dialog box, you can enable change tracking for the entire document or for selected sections.

First click the track changes button on the toolbar. In the track changes dialog box, select the radio button to track changes on the selected section. Or, to enable change tracking for multiple sections, click Advanced, and then select the check boxes for those sections. Selecting a section automatically selects its sub-sections. Expand a section to select its individual sub-sections.

NOTE: Enabling track changes for the document overrides section-level change tracking. Turning off document-level change tracking reverts to section-specific settings.

Final Without Markup

As you make changes to a document with track changes enabled, you may wish to see how the changes will impact your document without accepting or rejecting all of the proposed changes. You can do this through the Hide/Show Track Changes option in the Review tab. This action can be performed at any time.

Simply left-click the option to toggle between the default Shown state and the Hidden state, which will display your document as if you've accepted all applicable Track Changes events. You can still accept or deny changes for a section or document from the Approval button.

While tracked changes are hidden, PDFs generated of this document will have tracked changes hidden by default, though they can be shown by turning the option on during generation. Page count may change, as the generated document will show tracked changes as if they have been approved.