[Libs-Or] Tech-Talk: WORD - Track Editing Changes in a Document

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Wed Mar 28 11:12:37 PDT 2018


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 This Week's Tech-Talk: WORD

1. VIDEO ... Track Editing Changes in a Document
2. ARTICLE ... Track Editing Changes in a Document
3. COMMUNICATING ... Support and Disagree, but don't Defend-Attack

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Tech-Talk: WORD - Track Editing Changes in a Document

"Hey, let's get an official statement out to everyone so they understand the changes that are coming down the pike," says the Committee Coordinator. "Please draft a document and let me take a look."

You craft a fine letter with all the facts and email it to your colleague for a review. She makes changes by either physically writing on a printed document (with you fixing it) or typing the ideas directly in herself.

In either case, it's a brand new document ... with the earlier versions gone ... unless you had turned on the Track Changes feature before making any edits.

So, if you have ever wanted to make changes to someone else's document, and would like a way for people to see what you've modified, Word's tool for this works nicely!

Microsoft Word has a built-in way to highlight changes made to a document. It's called Track Changes. We've known about -- and used this feature for years... but in the newest Microsoft 365/2016 version, there are some new and exciting features!

Tracking Changes in Word

First of all, when would you want to use this feature?

Anytime you have two or more people involved in creating content, particularly when one person is responsible for the final version, you need a way to view changes made to the text.

All changes are identified automatically so the author (and the editor) can see them and decide to keep or delete each modification.

When Tracking is turned "ON" you can see every little edit, such as:

1.  Formatting. Displayed in a "balloon" on the right side of the screen.
2.  New Text. Appears in red and underlined.
3.  Deletions. Also in red, but with a "strikeout" (line through the words).

One way to notice where a change has been made is a vertical line in the left margin of the document. This tells you there is a modification for you to notice.

[Track changes]

The reviewer can look at each change and decide to "Accept" or "Reject" it. Not only will you look at text edits, but all the formatting tweaks as well …. bold, italics, color.

Use the Tracking Feature in Desktop Word

NOTE: These steps are for tracking in Word when you're using the software that resides on your computer. Later in the article, we'll look at the options for tracking in Office Online documents.

If you would like to turn the tracking feature ON in a document so that your changes will be noted:

·     In Word 2016 (also in 2013, 2010 or 2007), go to the Review tab and in the Tracking section of the ribbon, click on the Track Changes option and drop down and select this option again.

[track changes]

·     Once you turn on the this feature, any edit you make will be tracked so others can see what you've done.
·     Be sure to save the document so that your changes will remain.

NOTE: If at any point you want to stop tracking changes, go back to the Review tab, click on Track Changes and then Track Changes again to turn it OFF. You can toggle this feature on and off at will.

Adding a Comment

In the editing process, instead of making a change, you may want to ask a question or make a suggestion to the author. You can do this with a Comment. (A cousin feature to tracking.)

·     Put the cursor in the text to which the Comment will refer.
·     In the Review tab, in the Comments section, click on New Comment.
·     Type your feedback to the author.


Displaying the Edits

After edits are made by one or more people to a document, the original author can see and review them. There are a few ways to see all of the changes made.

Again, in the Review tab, in the Tracking section, you have choices to how you SEE the changes being made to the document.

Markup - In the drop-down menu you'll see choices for viewing the changes proposed:

·     Simple Markup -- the default option, displays a vertical line in the left margin. In this view, it doesn't show you the edits, just where a change was made.

[simple markup]

·     All Markup -- displays a vertical line in the left margin where your edits are as well as notes in the right margin labeled with the editor's name and what was done.

[All Markup]

·     No Markup -- displays the document with the changes but does not bring attention to them.

·     Original -- goes back to the document before any changes were made.

Show Markup -- This gives you the choice of which revisions you'd like to view including: Comments, Insertions and Deletions, Formatting, Balloons, Specific people who have made changes to the document.

Reviewing Pane -- Gives you another way to view the changes in either the left panel of the screen or the bottom. Below the Reviewing Pane is shown to the left. With this pane turned on, you can click a word or section of the document in the Revisions pane, and it will automatically go to that edit in the document.

[reviewing pane]

For each person that makes changes to the original document, Word has a built-in color tracking system. Changes made by the first person will be displayed in blue and the second in red. Additional colors will be used to differentiate additional editor's changes.

Accept or Reject Changes

Once the document has been edited with tracking, the original author can review the changes and choose to Accept or Reject any of them. With the Word document open, go to the Review tab and in the Changes section, there are the options displayed.

[Accept changes]

·     To accept a change, put your cursor on top of one of the tracked changes, and click the Accept button. The drop-down menu will give you several selections: to either accept that change and move to the next one, accept the one change, and accept all changes in the document.
·     To move from one change to the next, you can click on the Previous or Next buttons in the Changes section. You can choose to edit the changes individually, or approve / reject all at once. Typically, there will be some items that will be kept and others that may be deleted.

You'll see the changes applied immediately in the document.

Print Documents with Tracked Changes


Some people like to review hard copies of documents.

If you want to print out the Word file showing the tracked changes:

·     Go to File, Print
·     Under Settings, in the Print All Pages drop-down window, make sure there is a checkmark next to the Print Markup option.

Viewing the Final Document

After all of the changes and edits have been accepted or rejected, make sure that when you share the "final" document the tracking feature is turned off.

To do this, go back to the Review tab and toggle the Track Changes button (the grey shading goes away when it's Off). Plus, change the view to "No Markup".

Microsoft 365 - Online

If you use Microsoft 365 Online and OneDrive to store and share documents there are some cool ways to work collaboratively.

When you're working in Word 2016 on your desktop you can use the Share feature to invite others to Review/Edit your document.


·     In your desktop Word document, click the Share button in the upper right of your screen.
·     NOTE: If your document is not yet saved in OneDrive you'll be prompted to save it there.
·     Under Invite People type in the email address of the person(s) that you would like to have access to edit your document.
·     The drop-down wind is set to "Can edit" automatically.
·     Add a message to your recipient (optional) and click Share.

Now, when you, or the person you shared the document with make edits, the other person collaborating on the document will be notified in real-time.

Co-Author or Working Collaboratively in Microsoft 365 Word Online


If you're working in Word 365 in a document saved in OneDrive (not in the desktop software) you can invite others to work on the document with you.

·     With the document open, click on the Share option at the top right of the screen.
·     Type in a name or email address to invite others to collaborate on the document.
·     The default setting will allow them to edit the document.

Here's the big difference... there is no "Track Changes" option in the online version.

But, here's the cool benefit! If you're both working in the document at the same time, you'll see the changes that other makes in real time. Colored flags will be displayed in the document where they are working. You'll be alerted when they enter the document and when they leave.


Communications: Interactive Skills
Support and Disagree, but don't Defend-Attack

Yes, last week's communication message wasn't so exciting ... it was about the clarifying words we use to Give Information (~80% of what we say) and Seek Information.

But it's important to get these foundational ideas out there so we can build on them with communicating behaviors that deserve more attention ... and which can make us more effective communicators.

REACTING Behaviors

When something is said to us, and we react to what we hear, best practices dictate that we be either supportive of what was stated or we disagree with the idea expressed.

Disagreeing with an idea is different than saying something that is negative about the person. For instance, calling the individual "stupid" for suggesting it, or "You always have unworkable ideas." is not disagreeing, it's what we call an attack.

And what happens when you are attacked? You become defensive ... and attack back! "I'm not stupid. Your ideas are crazy." or "These aren't unworkable, they just require insight and talent you don't have."

This goes back and forth, over and over again, becoming a "Defend-Attack Spiral" ... something we just don't need in a work (or social) environment.

Supporting: Making a conscious and direct declaration of agreement or support for another person or their ideas.

·     Congratulations!
·     I like that idea.
·     You did that very well.

Disagreeing: Stating a direct disagreement or objection to another person’s ideas.

·     I don't agree with this whole business.
·     I don't believe it will work.
·     I don't agree with your answer.

Defending - Attacking: Using judgments and emotional overtones. Attacks are aimed at a person or a group of people. Defends are unnecessary justifications and often result in a return attack.

·     Don't question me. I know what I'm talking about. (Defend)
·     Don't blame me, it's not my fault. (Defend)
·     I was just trying to make an important point. (Defend)

·     How come everything breaks when you're around [said jovially] (Attack)
·     Lucy, you never listen. (Attack)
·     That's a lousy idea. (Attack)
·     How can you say anything so ridiculous? (Attack)
·     You just never understand the real issue. (Attack)


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