Weekly Computer Tip # 381
23 November 2012

Remove - not just hide - tracked changes
(Word 2007-2010)

Have you ever accidentally distributed a document that still contained tracked changes and comments? If so, you probably thought that by changing the default Display for Review option ("Final: Show Markup") to "Final" you finalised the work. After all, what else could "Final" mean? Well, the options are there to help you choose how to view (I repeat: view!) the document. For example, you can display the document with all the proposed changes (Final), or you can look at what the document was like before any changes were made (Original). Therefore, if you want to finalise the document so that nobody sees the tracked changes or comments anymore, you will need to ignore the Display for Review options and accept or reject all proposed changes, as well as delete comments after reviewing them.

Here's how:

  1. Press CTRL + HOME to move the insertion point to the beginning of the document.
  2. On the Review tab click on the Next button in the Changes group.
  3. Review the first change or comment. Click on the arrow below the Accept or Reject button and click on the Accept and Move to Next or Reject and Move to Next button.
  4. The next change in the document is selected. Repeat step 3 until you get a message stating "The document contains no comments or tracked changes".
  5. Click OK.

I know there are other ways, but using this method you ensure you do not miss anything.

By the way, before sending the document on to interested parties you might want to ensure the tracking functionality is turned off, something I do not think is very clear from the Review tab. Which is why I want to remind you of tip number 309 (tip_309.php) and stick the Track Changes button on your status bar. In future, it says Track Changes: On or Track Changes: Off rather than having to rely on some vaguely highlighted button on the Review tab.