When I learned about the Track Changes feature in MS Word I felt like I’d discovered the secret of life. I’ve since used it for professional, academic, and personal documentation work. It’s a pretty neat tool that makes collaborating on a document easier especially if the people you’re working with are averse to trying out some of the online tools that support live collaboration like Google Docs. That said, MS Word tracks everything by default, every little thing. Entering so much as a space will show up with a red highlight which is great when you’ve got a long report to work on with different people. What’s not so great is that formatting changes and comments will appear as changes too when you may not want them to be tracked. Here’s how you can customize what types of changes MS Word tracks.
First things first, head over to the Review tab and enable Track Changes. Next, click the little arrow at the bottom right of the ‘Tracking’ tools and choose in the window that opens what kinds of changes you want to track. You can disable comment, format, and Ink tracking from here.
If however, you don’t own the document and tracking has instead been enabled by someone else, you can still see a much cleaner version of the final document with the changes still highlighted. Open the ‘Show Markup’ drop-down and deselect the Comments, Ink, and Formatting options to see only the text changes that were made. You can also choose to see changes made by specific users.
Microsoft thinks of everything, thankfully. Happy editing.