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This guide on using Microsoft Word 2010 Track Changes is designed to provide you with all the information necessary for reviewing edits, suggestions, and comments to your manuscript. It will also provide you with details on how to accept and/or reject edits, as well as delete comments.

When your manuscript is returned to you, you will see that it has been edited ("marked up") using the Track Changes feature of Microsoft Word. The steps listed below will walk you through moving from the marked-up, Track Changes version to the clean final version.

STEP 1:   Show the Review Panel.
Click on the Review tab at the top of the window.

Microsoft Word 2010 Review Tab and Panel

STEP 2:  Select how you want to view your document.
In the middle of the Review Panel, you will see a drop-down menu with four options: Final Showing Markup, Final, Original Showing Markup, and Original.

Microsoft Word 2010 Mark-Up Options

  • Select Final Showing Markup to view your manuscript with the editor’s changes and comments distinguished by color. Typically, insertions will show underlined and in blue text, while deletions will show with a strike-though and in red text within the document. Comments are usually shown in a red balloon in the right margin with a red line pointing to the place in the manuscript the comment is referring to. (*Note* The color and placement of comments, insertions, and deletions may vary based upon a person’s computer settings.)
  • Select Final to see your manuscript in its final, edited version. This option does not actually accept and/or reject changes, but simply shows how the document would look if all changes were accepted.
  • Select Original Showing Markup to show insertions in red and deletions in blue embedded in the document. Inline comments will usually appear in the right margin. (*Note* The color and placement of comments, insertions, and deletions may vary based upon a person’s computer settings.)
  • Select Original to see your manuscript in its original, unedited version. This option will only hide changes, not remove any changes.

STEP 3:  Accept and/or Reject Changes.
First, check to make sure the Track Changes button in the middle of the Review Panel is not highlighted. The image below shows the Track Changes button highlighted and outlined in red. If the Track Changes button is highlighted, any changes you make to your manuscript will appear in color as though they are also tracked changes.

Microsoft Word 2010 Track Changes Button and Accept or Reject Changes Buttons

  • Select Final Showing Markup or Original Showing Markup from the drop-down menu discussed in Step 2/.
  • Use the Previous and Next arrows (shown on the right side of the blue outlined box in the image above) to highlight each insertion, deletion, and comment one by one./li>
  • Once an insertion or deletion has been highlighted, decide whether you want to keep (accept) the change or discard (reject) the change. If you want to keep the change, click the Accept Change button, and if you want to discard the change, click the Reject Change button (shown on the left side of the blue outlined box in the image above).

STEP 4:  Read and Delete Comments.
Comments are contained within the red balloons located in the right margin and are connected by lines to the corresponding place in your manuscript. Comments include explanations, questions, and thoughts from the editor. Comments may also point out areas of concerns or sometimes problems the editor was not able to change, for you to address.

Once you have read a comment and are ready to delete it, right-click the comment, and select delete comment from the pop-up menu. If you would like to delete all comments at the same time, click the down arrow under the Delete Button in the Review Panel to show the drop-down menu with the option to Delete All Comments, and then click this option.

STEP 5:  Save your work.
Once you have finished accepting and rejecting changes and all the comments are deleted, save your work.
*Note* Many people choose to save their work periodically during the review process both as a precautionary measure and also to allow them to take a break from the reviewing process without the risk of losing any changes they might have made.