Show, accept, or hide edits in Microsoft Word

When you collaborate on a document in Microsoft Word, you’ll see co-author changes. You may want to keep some edits but reject others. The best approach is: Using Track Changes so you can review the changes and decide how to deal with them.

Here we will show you how to show edits in Word and accept, reject and hide those edits. This has you covered during the change tracking process.

Enable Change Tracking

To keep track of all edits to a document, you can: enable the Track Changes feature for everyone or even just for yourself. This is a handy way to make sure that no change goes unnoticed.

  1. Open the Word document and go to the Review tab.
  2. Select the Track changes button in the Follow section of the ribbon.
  3. To elect For everyone to track changes made by you and your team or just mine to track only your edits.

Once the feature is enabled, you can lock it to prevent someone else from disabling it. Select Lock Tracking in the Track changes drop-down menu and follow the prompts.

How to show edits in Word

Once you’re ready to proofread the document and see the changes, you have a few ways.

  1. Go to the Review tab and the Tracking section of the ribbon.
  2. Choose either one from the drop-down list at the top All markings or Simple Formatting† All Markup displays an indicator of a change in the document and revision. Simple Markup only shows the indicator.
  1. Then select the Show format drop-down arrow. Here you can customize what you see and how it is displayed.
  • Insertions and deletions: Check this option to show additions and deletions of items.
  • format: Mark this option as show format changes.
  • balloons: Choose how to display the revisions. You can choose Show revisions in balloons to display them in a pop-out on the right, Show all revisions inline to display edits in the document itself, or Only show formatting in balloons to do just that.
  • Specific people: Select All reviewers to see everyone’s changes or your name to see only yours.

In addition to the above, you have the option to display the review window. This is useful if you decide to use Simple Markup, because you see the edits in a panel instead.

Select the Review Panel drop-down arrow and choose the vertical (left panel) or horizontal (bottom panel) option.

You can also view changes by jumping directly to them instead of looking for them in the document.

In the Changes section of the ribbon, use the Previous change and Next change buttons to see them one by one.

Accept edits in Word

Now that you know how to display edits in Word, the next step is how to accept those edits. You can accept individual changes or all changes at once.

Accept individual edits

To accept edits individually, start by selecting the first. Then open the To accept drop-down menu in the Changes section of the ribbon.

Choose either one Accept and proceed to next to review and accept one by one or Accept this change to accept it and then stop the review process.

You can also right click on a change and choose To accept to insert, delete, or change the layout.

Accept all changes

To accept all changes to a document, open the To accept drop-down list in the ribbon. Choose Accept all changes or Accept all changes and stop following according to your preference.

Reject edits in Word

Rejecting edits in Word is as easy as accepting them and follows the same basic process. You can reject any or all in the document.

Choose a change, select the Reject drop-down arrow in the ribbon and choose Decline and proceed to next or Reject change† You can also right click and select Reject to insert, delete, or change the formatting in the shortcut menu.

To reject all changes to the document, select the Reject drop down arrow and choose Reject all changes or Refuse all changes and stop following according to your preference.

Hide edits in Word

Not everything when collaborate on a document is about reviewing, accepting or rejecting changes. If you want to hide the edits to focus on the content, you can do so without disabling the Track Changes feature.

  1. Go to the Review tab and the Tracking section of the ribbon.
  2. Select the top dropdown and choose either no formatting or Original† No markup is the best option to see your document without editing indicators. Original shows just that: your original document as it was before any edits.
  1. If you have enabled the review window described above, you can close it with the X in the top right corner or by selecting the Review Panel knot in the ribbon.

Return to that same drop-down list to see the changes again and as previously described.

For more ways to collaborate on your Word documents, see add and delete comments† If you also use Microsoft Excel, see how to share a file and then how to track changes there too.

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