Reviewing Documents in Microsoft Word 2010

February 6, 2011, By Christian Cawley

When sharing documents with colleagues or perhaps providing an editing service, you will need to be able to keep a note of the changes you are suggesting.

While basic editing in Microsoft Word might consist of browsing through the document and using the strikethrough tool to “cross-out” a word or phrase and suggest an alternative, Microsoft Word 2010 features a very useful set of reviewing tools designed to make the whole process far easier.

Accessed via the Review tab of the Word ribbon menu, the review tools include the ability to track changes made by various collaborators on your Word document.

Using Track Changes and other Word 2010 review tips

Basic Reviewing Tools

If you don’t want to go all out and take advantage of the basic reviewing tools in Microsoft Word 2010, just making use of the tools on the Home tab will give you everything you need.

For instance if you are reviewing a document and spot a word or phrase that you think could be replaced or removed, you might select the text and use the Strikethrough tool in the Font section of the Home tab to run a line through it, before making a suggestion for alternative wording. You might also change the colour of your suggestion using the Font Color tool.

One helpful tool when editing long documents is the Navigation Pane. Available via View > Show > Navigation Pane (a check box toggles it on or off) this can be used to find sections and passages of text if the document has already been correctly formatted with Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles. Without these styles already applied the pane is useless, but if the document you’re editing has been formatted the Navigation Pane is worth using.

Tracking Changes in Microsoft Word 2010

In order to get started with the full review tools, go to Review > Tracking > Track Changes in order to activate the feature. Ideal for working on documents with many authors, Track Changes comes with various tools to assist in the identification of the person that entered the text or made previous changes.

You can view and alter the various settings for tracking changes in the Track Changes > Change Tracking Options… screen, where colour coding for different authors and edit types are recorded.

Making a change to a document doesn’t require any changes of font colour or special formatting – all you need to do in this situation is insert your mouse pointer next to the text you want to make a suggest about and start typing – the text will appear red and underlined by default, with a left-justified border indicating where the changes are. Also note that the New Comments tool can be used to make suggestions or observations without actually editing or adding text to the document.

Managing the changes that have been made to a document is a case of employing the Reviewing Pane (found in the Tracking section) along with the Accept and Reject buttons in the Changes section. With the Reviewing Pane you can see where the changes are, while the Accept and Reject buttons can be used to approve or deny the changes before moving onto the next suggested edit with the Previous and Next buttons.

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