Microsoft Word Tip: Five Reasons You Should Be Using Track Changes
As best practice, most businesses follow a document review process before internally or externally publishing documents.
Throughout my career, I’ve seen people edit Microsoft Word documents in multiple ways: some highlight their changes, others use only the comments box, some strike out text, some print the document and edit on paper, and others – gasp! – don’t show their changes at all. Expert Word users, however, use Track Changes.
Word’s Track Changes was designed for the document review process. As someone with a passion for editing, I adore Track Changes, but even those who aren’t fond of the editing process can appreciate how useful Track Changes is for collaborating on document revisions.
You or your business should be using Track Changes in its document review process for the following reasons:
Reason 1: It’s easy to use! If you’re editing a document, under the Review tab, simply click Track Changes to turn Track Changes on, and click it again to turn it off.
Reason 2: With clear markup, you and other contributors can quickly review changes that have been made to the document. Track Changes also inputs a vertical bar in the left margin so you can see at a glance where even the smallest of changes were made.
Reason 3: It’s easy to accept or reject changes. As the author, when reviewing someone’s changes, simply right click the changed text and select Accept or Reject.
If you want an even easier alternative, in some cases (depending on the text, the editor, and how much time you have), in the Review Tab click Accept or Reject, and select Accept All Changes or Reject All Changes to make immediate changes throughout the entire document.
Reason 4: For comparison, you can toggle between the original version, the final version, and the markup version. Do you struggle trying to read with markup on the page? Or do you want to see if the edits read better than the original version?
In the Review tab, open the Display for Review drop-down menu and select No Markup to read the edited text without distracting additions and deletions, then select Original to read the unedited text.
Reason 5: You can see which user made the edit and when. If you have a question about a change or want to yell at an editor about a change (just kidding, don’t do that), hover your cursor over the changed text to see who made the edit and when.
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