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Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes” is a not-so-secret but essential editing weapon. Flip the switch on this feature, and suddenly, you’re in the fast lane of editing efficiency and interactivity. 

Imagine a seamless group effort on a single document, with every tweak meticulously recorded Track changes can maintain the full record. Share your Word files with DocSend—try it for free.

Enabling and disabling track changes in Word docs

If you want to make teamwork a breeze—enable Track Changes, and let the collaboration begin.

Enabling Track Changes:

  1. Navigate to the Review tab in Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the Track Changes option to activate the feature.
  3. Once enabled, any edits made to the document will be tracked and visible.

Once the collaboration is done, or you want to turn off track changes in Word—here’s how:

Disabling Track Changes:

  • Return to the Review tab.
  • Click on Track Changes to toggle it off.
  • Edits made while the feature is disabled won’t be tracked, providing a clear view of the final document.

Toggle the feature, edit, and get ace collaboration. Track Changes is the master key of Word edits, letting you control the copy and editing by keeping it sleek, organized, and smooth. 

Understanding track changes in Microsoft Word

Why bother with tracking changes? Well, by enabling this feature, you unlock a range of capabilities that streamline the editing process and foster efficient teamwork—such as:

  1. Improved collaboration
  2. Documented editing history
  3. Structured feedback
  4. Control over the visibility of edits

Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature is a versatile tool that enhances collaborative document editing. Still, how do you get the most out of it? Let’s explore some simple ways to do that.

Best practices for tracking changes in Microsoft Word

Enabling and disabling the Track Changes feature is key to leveraging the benefits of collaboration. Here are a few tips to get the best results while using it:

  • Add descriptive comments: Make your comments sing! Descriptive notes help everyone hum to the tune of what you’re saying, so always be clear and explain what you mean in full.
  • Track every change: Don’t skip sections of editing without a record. It’s best to track even the tiniest tweaks for a full master copy of your completed Word document.
  • Set your username: Let people know who’s in the spotlight. Make sure you set your username so people will know if you’ve made a change—and can thank you for your efforts.
  • Comment responsively: Check your inbox for comments that arrive when a doc is modified. Quick responses to questions help keep the collaborative rhythm alive.
  • Compare versions: To harmonize your edits, compare versions to catch the subtle shifts in the tone. This is a good tip when a file becomes busy with edits and you want a fresh perspective.
  • Accept/reject with insight: Always make it a dialogue. Accept/reject changes as you see fit, but don’t be afraid to ask questions or explain if you disagree, leave a note and provide context.
  • Use the Reviewing Pane: Pull back the curtain and use the Reviewing Pane for a quick peak at all changes. Go to Review > Reviewing Pane—choose Vertical/Horizontal for a full edit view.
  • Save your composition: Record your masterpiece and keep separate file versions when you hit big milestones. Save regularly to ensure no note, comment, or edit is lost.
  • Do a team training session: Sync your team’s collaborative ethos. Train them to hit the right notes in comments, make edits, and provide constructive solutions—not just observations.

Remember, it’s not just about edits—it’s a discussion. Track Changes is your invitation to a group feedback session. Comments, suggestions, and edits are all neatly laid out to work together.

Collaborate across documents with DocSend

Our best practice tips allow you to control the visibility of edits, for a butter smooth yet delicately organized editing process. However, there are some limitations on document types and security.

For a more comprehensive solution, that works on all of your most important documents and files, you can use DocSend. This gives you other incredible collaboration features like:

Ready to turbocharge your document collaboration? Sign up for a free trial and see DocSend in action for yourself.