Track Changes Feature in Word

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If you haven’t hired an editor before, you may not be familiar with Track Changes. This is a handy tool editors use to show clients the changes that have been made to their documents. It also gives clients the power to easily accept or reject the changes.

Click on the Review tab in Microsoft Word. The paper-and-pen icon on the Track Changes button turns the feature on and off. When it’s on, all new changes will be marked. This is customizable, so the specifics may differ from editor to editor. Mine are set to make new inserted text blue and underlined, strike through deleted text with red, and mark formatting changes with green. An explanatory comment balloon attaches to formatting changes.

I also use comment balloons when I need to ask a question, explain an edit, give different options for resolving a problem, or point out issues that you as the writer need to address—such as plot holes, missing information, or possible copyright infringement.

The drop-down box next to the Track Changes button changes your view of the document. All Markup shows all the tracked changes. Simple Markup only shows the comment balloons and a vertical line on the side of your page next to the lines that contain a change. No Markup shows how the document will look if all changes are accepted, while Original shows the document before changes were made.

Next to that is the Accept button and the Reject button. You may move through the document accepting or rejecting each edit. Another option is to reject each change you don’t want to keep then click Accept All Changes in the Accept drop-down menu.

There is a Resolve button on comment balloons. You can click this when you no longer need the comment. You can also delete the comment by right clicking on it and selecting Delete Comment.

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