Revisions of MS Word files

The standard text file, created by MS Word, possesses means for wishful editing, strangely unfamiliar to many users. Wishful here means that the editor (the person who proofreads critically a file, which generally is not his own) or editors administer or suggest corrections and modifications. add comments and/or questions to parts of the text, etc., following which the author or editor-in-chief, once in possession of all these suggestions makes final yes-no decisions compiling the final document.

Prepare a document for review

With Microsoft Word, you have several options for sending a document to review and for tracking, incorporating, and keeping a record of changes made.

  • If you have a document that you want reviewed by your team and you want final control over which changes to accept or reject, you can prepare copies of a document and distribute the copies to others for electronic review and markup. Word uses revision marks to track changes so that after the document is reviewed, you can see the changes and comments made by each reviewer. You can merge each reviewer's comments and changes into the original document so that you can review and accept or reject each change. You can send a copy to each team member simultaneously or route a single document so that each reviewer sees the previous reviewers' changes and comments.
  • If you have a document that may be revised in the future by you or others, you can set up the document so that Word saves a "snapshot" of the current version automatically each time you or another reviewer closes the document after making changes. All versions are stored within one document, although Word displays only the current version by default. For each version in the document, Word records the date and time the version was saved and the name of the person making the changes. You can view any one of the previous versions in a separate window by opening that version from the Versions dialog box.
Review a document

You can review documents online by typing in comments and proposed changes. Word tracks each reviewer's comments and revisions in a distinct color to help the author distinguish between the different reviewers' marks.

When you insert a comment, Word numbers it and records it in a separate comment pane. You can view comments in ScreenTips or in the comment pane. You can also modify the comments you or others have made.

To enter proposed changes, turn on the Track Changes feature before you start reviewing the document. Word uses revision marks to show where you want text, graphics, or formatting to be added, deleted, changed, or moved. Later, the author can review and accept or reject each change.

Track changes while you edit
  1. Open the document you want to revise.
  2. On the Reviewing toolbar, click Track Changes.
  3. Make the changes you want by inserting, deleting, or moving text or graphics. You can also change any formatting. Word uses revision marks to show the changes.
  4. To add a comment, click Insert Comment on the Reviewing toolbar.
Review the comments in a document

Word displays the comment and the name of the reviewer making the comment in a ScreenTip above the text. If comments don't appear, click Options on the Tools menu, click the View tab, and then select the ScreenTips check box.

Highlight important text
  1. Click Highlight.
  2. Select the text or graphic you want to highlight.
  3. Select the next item in the document that you want to highlight.
  4. To turn off highlighting, click Highlight again, or press ESC.


  • Highlighting parts of a document works best when recipients will be reviewing the document online. When you highlight parts of a document that you intend to print, use a light color if you're using a monochrome or dot-matrix printer.
  • To change the highlighter color, click the arrow next to Highlight, click the color you want, and then select the text or graphic you want to highlight.
  • You can display or hide highlighting (but not the text itself) on the screen and in the printed document by clicking Options (Tools menu), and then selecting or clearing the Highlight check box on the View tab.
Incorporate reviewers' comments and changes

You can incorporate or delete comments that reviewers have inserted in your document.

  • If reviewers propose changes using revision marks, you can accept or reject their suggestions.
  • If change tracking was not used, and you have the original copy of a document, you can review the changes by comparing the edited copy with the original copy.
Incorporate or reject changes made with revision marks

You can review tracked changes in two ways: by using the Reviewing toolbar or the Accept or Reject Changes dialog box. To review changes by using the toolbar, first make sure changes are highlighted on the screen. If the ScreenTips option is turned on, you can see who made each change by resting the pointer over the highlighted revision.

  • If revision marks don't appear in the document, point to Track Changes on the Tools menu, and then click Highlight Changes. Select the Highlight changes on screen check box.
  • If the reviewer information doesn't appear above the change when you rest the pointer over it, click Options on the Tools menu, click the View tab, and then select the ScreenTips check box.

Combine comments and changes from several reviewers into one document
  1. Open the copy of the original document into which you want to merge changes.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Merge Documents.
  3. Locate and click one of the documents that has changes to be merged, and then click Open.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all copies of the document are merged.
  5. Review the comments and accept or reject the changes made.
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