Word - Track Changes

Track Changes

Track changes can be used to lock a document. Any changes made to the document after it has been locked will feature in a list of 'tracked changes' that can be approved or denied. These are similar to comments but will update the original document if approved. 


Turning on Track Changes

You can enable Track Changes from the Review tab of the menu ribbon: Illustrative image

  • When you select track changes you will be able to select two options:
    • Track Changes - Keep track of changes made to this document
    • Lock Changes - Use a password to discourage others from turning off Track Changes.


By default, changes will be highlighted by a red line at the beginning of a sentence that has been altered. This is because the default view for track changes is to 'simple markup' as is detailed below. This can, however, be annotated differently by changing to the different Markup options: Illustrative image

Simple Markup (default)

Clicking the red line will expand/collapse the changes made alongside the text that was originally altered, with a strike-through for the text that's been removed.  

All Markup

This option will automatically expand all of the tracked changes and show the removed text with a strike-through alongside the additional text. You may click the red line to contract the 'changes' and see the document as it is now.

No Markup

This option will hide all/collapse of the changes made so that the document can be viewed without any of the changed areas being highlighted/shown.


This option will hide all of the track changes so that the original document can be viewed without any annotations. However it is worth noting that saving the file with this option selected will not be remembered and will simply revert back to Simple Markup upon reopening the document.


Accept/Reject Changes

In order to remove the change annotations, you must accept or reject them. This can be done by the menu next to where you enabled Track changes:  Illustrative image

  • Each Approve/Reject button has several options to make working through the document easier:
    • Accept/Reject changes and move to next.
    • Accept/Reject this change.
    • Accept/Reject all changes.
    • Accept/Reject all changes and stop tracking. 
  • If you wish to view the next change without accepting or rejecting one you can use the Previous/Next buttons found next to Accept and Reject buttons.
  • If a password has been set you will not be able to accept/reject changes until this has been entered. 

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