Sorry if this is teaching some of you to suck eggs, but yesterday’s post seems to have prompted a lot of ‘How do you…?’ and a lot of ‘I didn’t know it did that’ around track changes, so I thought I’d seize the moment and show you. Switch off now if you know it all already. There are more interesting things to read on a Sunday morning.
Here goes. My screenshots are on word on a mac. If you are using a PC or an old version of word things might look different but it should be basically the same. Don’t ask me about PCs!
Open up a word doc. Look for the REVIEW tab on the top menu. That’s where all the track change settings live. In the screenshots below I’ve pasted my original post in word and made some minor edits to them like adding in a line that says ‘adding a para’ or the words ‘new numbered para’.
If you click on review and then click on tracking you will get some options for tracking, which can themselves be clicked on (FIG 1).
If you are on a mac it might be easier to use the split screen function (mac calls it ’tile window’) to scroll down this post and check it out in word as you go.
To use split screen by the way, press and hold the green button in the top left of your browser window (or your word window, depending on what you want to show in your split screen) and select ‘tile screen to left‘ – it will move your window to the left and on the right will show you other things you have open which you can place on the right hand side of your split screen. I use this so I can see my xx notes on one side and my running notes of a hearing on the other. No idea if / how you can do this on a PC, but you can probably just resize your individual windows and line them up next to one another. See FIG 2.
How to choose how much markup (tracking) you see
You can choose simple markup (as at FIG 3), all markup (full red squiggles experience), no markup (as edited) or original (without changes). If change tracking gives you a migraine, choose simple markup. You can see where changes have been made without all those red marks everywhere confusing your brain. You can right click the little red lines in the border to see what the changes are. I suggest you choose ‘all markup’ before sending a revised draft to an opponent, so they can see what you’ve done easily and don’t inadvertently miss any. They can always change to simple mark-up if they don’t like it (and now you can tell them how, like an IT Guru).
Here is what it looks like if you select no markup. You can see the edits but they aren’t highlighted so you’ll need to take care not to miss any (FIG 4).
Inline or balloon?
You can also choose where you see the markup on your page – in line with the text or to one side (in a balloon). Change this setting by clicking the dropdown : mark up options > balloons and selecting show all revisions in-line or show revisions in balloons. Here is what inline looks like (FIG 5) – my renumbering caused by me adding a line is showing up within the paragraphs.
Here is what the same edits look like if you select the balloon option (FIG 6).
It is also possible to change the colours that your tracking shows up in by selecting markup options > preferences. I didn’t know this till today. I’m considering changing to purple. See FIG 7.
Oh yes, accepting changes
Accepting or rejecting changes
You can review a document and, if you are happy with all of it just select ‘accept all changes and stop tracking’. Hey presto – you’re done! OR, if you want to go through one by one there are various ways of jumping from one edit to another, accepting or rejecting individually.
Firstly, accept and move to next – shown here (FIG 8). Once you’ve accepted one, clicking the green accept tick will automatically accept the change you are on and take you straight to the next so you can easily keep clicking and moving forward until you get to the change you need to reject or make further edits to. This is what I use.
Alternatively you can use the previous and next change buttons and right click each edited bit of text to accept or change (FIG 9).
A different way of doing it is to use the little forward and back icons shown in Fig 10, which show you each edit in highlighted blue – like when you select text with your mouse – as you click through.
Finally, you can use the review function. This is useful if you are editing a longer document with multiple editors and lots of comments in it, but probably not necessary for drafting orders. See Fig 11.
Right, I think that’s enough of the dull but useful for a Sunday morning. I’m off out for a run – hoping that I don’t fall over. Have been back from boating holiday for 48 hours and still have the swaying sensation of being on a boat, which is…interesting… Happy tracking!
P.S. In the course of writing this post I used the ‘markup’ function for the first time. I think it’s a mac thing – but it’s v useful. If you go to file explorer and select gallery view you can also use ‘markup’ to draw neat little circles and arrows on a screenshot to show people where to look. And of course to screenshot its : ctrl+cmd+4 (on apple). Fig 12.
P.P.S. Sorry about the woeful formatting on this blog post – it’s not irony, it’s just that wordpress is notoriously bad at layout when you are inserting multiple images. I know from bitter experience that however I lay it out they won’t show where I expect them to and there will be lots of unexplained blank gaps. Hence the use of ‘FIG 1’ etc rather than ‘below’ or ‘above’, as the relevant image will inevitably be above if I say below. Sorry if it sets off your OCD. That’s life…