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There are times when you may need to keep track of changes made to your documents made by everyone in your workflow and either approve or reject them. Let's see how to do that. The ability to track changes has been around for a long time in InCopy, but it finally made its way into InDesign with CS5 and the debut of the Track Changes panel. And I can show that panel by choosing Window > Editorial > Track Changes. With this panel, you can see and approve or reject changes made to a story by anyone in your editorial workflow.
Track Changes is limited to text edits only, so I can't know if another InDesign user moved or resized a frame, for example. But if anyone adds or deletes or moves text, those changes can be made visible in the Story Editor in InDesign or the Galley and Story views in InCopy. To track changes, first put your cursor in a text frame and click on the button on the left of the panel to track changes. This will enable tracking changes just for this story. If you want to enable tracking changes for the whole document, go to the panel menu and choose Enable Tracking in All Stories.
Now whenever someone makes text edits in this story, they will be tracked and I can view them in the Story Editor, which I can open up by pressing Command+Y or Ctrl+Y. And in fact, there's one track change already in this story. So if I type some new text--I'll say I REALLY LOVE CHEESE--I can see that change highlighted here, and then there's also a bar on the left side of that paragraph. The colors of Track Changes are controlled by your Preferences. I can press Command+K or Ctrl+K and go to my Track Changes Preferences, and I can see that I can turn on viewing for all the different kinds of changes in the Story Editor by selecting them, or turn them off by deselecting them.
And I can control the colors and how they're displayed by marks. I can also turn on and off those change bars that appear to the left of Track Changes, control the color of those bars, the location of it, and I can decide whether or not to include this text in Spellchecking. So let's make some more changes here. I'll select this paragraph and delete it, and now this text appears with a strikethrough in the Story Editor. I'll move some text by cutting it and pasting it elsewhere, and moved text appears with a box around it.
Now the controls for navigating and accepting or rejecting changes are grayed out unless the Story Editor is open. So if I close the Story Editor, all these buttons become grayed out in the panel. But I'll press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y again and they come back to life. So I can go to the previous change or the next change, and with each change, I can see who made it, when they made it, and what kind of change it was. And I can approve the change by clicking on the Accept Change button, or I can undo and reject that change.
There are also buttons to accept all the changes in the story or reject them all. Now unfortunately, there are no keyboard shortcuts assigned to the Accept and Reject Change commands, but if you're going to deal a lot with Track Changes, there's nothing stopping you from assigning your own keyboard shortcuts. Here I'll navigate to another change and I will show you one shortcut. You can hold Option or Alt to accept the current change and then immediately go to the next one. So that makes approving and rejecting changes a little bit smoother. The Track Changes panel menu also has some handy commands.
In addition to repeating most of the commands in the panel buttons, it also has things like accepting or rejecting changes in the current story or document wide. Furthermore, you can also target changes made by a specific user. So you can accept all changes by this user in just this story or in the whole document, or you can reject them all. If your editorial users enabled change tracking in Word before they made their edits, you can also preserve those track changes in InDesign. So let's make a new document. And I'll place a text file.
Show Import Options is selected, and I'll click Open. And here I want to make sure that Track Changes is selected, and I'll click OK. I'll click in the layout to place the text, and then I'll open the Story Editor by pressing Command+Y or Ctrl+Y. And here I can see the changes that were tracked by Microsoft Word. The ability to track and accept or reject editorial changes in InDesign could be a great time- and effort-saver in some workflows, and it's an essential tool for working with long documents.
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