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In Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Curt Frye gives a comprehensive overview of Excel, the full-featured spreadsheet software from Microsoft. The course covers key skills such as manipulating workbook and cell data, using functions, automating actions, printing worksheets, and collaborating with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you and your colleagues change a workbook's contents, it can be hard to determine who made what change and when. If you have planned to have several individuals edit a workbook, turning on Change Tracking lets you see all the changes. What's more, you can review the changes and accept or reject them as you wish. So here I have a workbook, and it has just various sales levels, and the idea is that I want to be able to track the changes and see which users has made them, and then give myself the opportunity to either except a change or reject it.
So here is how you do that. First, you make sure that you are on the Review tab of the Ribbon and then in the Share group, you click Track Changes, and in that list, you click Highlight Changes. In the Highlight Changes dialog, you select the Track changes while editing check box, then you can control which changes that you want highlighted. I don't believe that I have ever selected anything except for All here and then have everyone tracked and throughout the entire worksheet, and also you definitely want to have the changes highlighted on the screen, so leave this check box selected.
Everything looks good, and I will click OK. Excel notifies you that you need to save the workbook to Track Changes, so click OK, and Excel has saved the workbook, and it has also shared the workbook. Sharing a workbook means that if your file is available say on a networked computer that more than one person can have the workbook open at one time. So that's all that means. Now I will make some changes, I will change Lemon to 4,000, and notice when I made that change, Excel put an indicator in the top-left corner.
It also changed the letter in the column header to red and when I hover the mouse pointer over that cell, it flips up what is the equivalent of a comment, indicating who made the change when, what the original value was, and what the changed value is. So I'll make one more. Just down here at the bottom, I will change D4 to 16,000. Press Return and you see that once again the cell is highlighted, the column indicators, and the row indicators both tell me where the changes have been made. So now that I have made some changes, I can go through and either accept or reject them.
To do that, again, on the Review tab, click the Track Changes button and click Accept or Reject Changes. Excel is going to save the workbook again, and now you can select which changes to accept or reject. The only choice I have ever made in this dialog box is to view those which have not yet been reviewed, so I'll leave it with the default choice and click OK. Now Excel displays the dialog box, which contains the details of each one of the changes, and it highlights the cell where that change was made, and it also tells you here - and this is very helpful - it tells you that it is change 1 of 2.
So that means if you have 40 changes, but you don't have time to review all of them, then maybe you want to save this task until later. So again, here we have the details of the change, that the particular user, in this case producer, made a change on this date at this time, and this was the change. So you have the original value and the value that is currently in the worksheet. In this case, I believe the change is correct, so I will click Accept, and Excel moves on to the next change. I can then either accept or reject that change.
Now there are two buttons here that I rarely use, but I will tell you what they are just so that you can make your own decisions. Accept All accepts every change. I have only ever used this in the past when I have made changes to a document, and I didn't realize Change Tracking was on. In that case, I have clicked Accept All and then turned off Change Tracking. You can also click Reject All, which basically says, 'None of these changes are worthwhile. I don't want them, get rid of them, forget about them.' I am not sure I have ever used that, but you never know.
There might be a first time. In this case, I believe that the 16,000 change from 12,374 is incorrect, so I will click Reject. I will also point out the Close button. If you are accepting or rejecting changes and you want to stop the process, then you can click Close. It doesn't get rid of any changes you haven't accepted or rejected; it holds them in advance until the next time you run the function. So getting back to the active change, which is Changed from 12,374 to 16,000, I believe that's incorrect, so I can click Reject.
I have examined with the changes, so now I can turn Change Tracking off. To do that, I go back up to the Review tab of the Ribbon, click Track Changes, click Highlight Changes, and now I can clear the Track Changes while editing check box. Clear it, click OK, and Excel indicates that the action will remove the workbook from shared use. Click Yes, and I have my workbook back in its original state. Change tracking is extremely useful when you collaborate on a workbook with several other people.
You usually won't need to turn it on if you are the only person changing a particular workbook, but if you are making a lot of modifications to your data, it can be helpful to track your own changes and review them later.
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