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When you're ready to review a document, either by yourself or with others, you'll use the tools on the Review tab in Microsoft Word 2010. You can track each insertion, deletion, move, formatting change or comment that you or others make, capturing those changes so that they can all be reviewed later. To collaborate with others on a Word document, you start by turning on the Tracking feature, then sharing the document with other users. You can review all the changes or each user's change, and accept or reject proposed changes in a document.
We begin by opening the document that we wish to review. Then on the Review tab, we are going to use the tools here in the Tracking group. So I would like to Track Changes. There are some Change Tracking Options that I might want to look at first. This is an entire list of options that I can set. Notice that we have Colors and Comments by author. And these are applied automatically. So the first author who works on a document, their changes might be in blue, the next might be in red and so on.
While you can assign a specific color to an author, I don't recommend it, because it's actually easier to allow Word to do that for you. In each document then I might be a different color based on what order in which I'm allowed to edit this document. Notice that Insertions will be marked with an Underline, Deletions with a Strikethrough, and that there will be a line at the border that shows that this section of the document have changes made. To turn on Track Changes, I simply click the button.
And now we're looking at a document that I'm ready to review. So I want to make some changes. I want to change "Employees Defined," for example, to "Definition of Employee." I'd like to bold the word "Employee" and get rid of the quotes around the word. I'd like to also do the same here for this occasion of the word "Employee." And notice that all of my changes are shown in balloons here in the margin.
This is the default setting for changes. There is my line that shows that this is a section of the document that has had some changes made. I have another change to make down here, which says that generally "regular full-time employees are eligible for the company's benefit package," no comma, "subject to the terms conditions and limitations of each employee benefit program." Now, I can see these same changes I made inline, if I prefer.
Here is my formatting and my deletions been marked out here in the margin. But I can choose how I would like to see my markup. For example, I can go to balloons, and I can say I want to see all my revisions inline. When I see all my revisions inline, deleted text is marked with Strikeout. Proposed new text is marked with Underline. I won't see my formatting changes easily. So I might want to use a mix of the two. I might want to go to Balloons and say show all my revisions inline, but show formatting, which it can't show me inline, in balloons.
So now I've captured the best of both worlds. I can see my formatting out here in the margin. I can see the text that I changed inline. While you can use inline to be able to easily review a document, another use of inline is that this is the easiest way to create a markup document that you might use either in a legal setting or in any government setting to show insertions and deletions in bylaws, or contracts, or proposals. By removing the balloons for formatting, what I have is a fully marked up version of the document that people could then discuss and adopt, or vote on.
I also have some choices about what version of the document that I want to see at any time. So when I have lots of changes, I might like to say what will this document look like if all of these changes are approved? In that case, I will choose Final. And this shows me the document as it would look if all the changes were accepted. I can return to the original document by choosing Original. This is how the document looked before we began editing it. It's a good practice always to leave this in Final showing Markup.
So I don't assume that a document has been finalized when it hasn't been. So I can easily use this to review a document by myself or with others. And when I'm all done, if I were only doing this temporarily, I can actually turn off tracking by simply clicking Track Changes again. Notice in our status bar, the Track Changes is off. Or I can turn Track Changes back on and continue reviewing. Don't forget, I can turn Track Changes on if I am reviewing a document that someone else sent me to review.
So I don't need to wait for the author to say please use Track Changes. This is a toolkit that I can pull out any time that I'm working collaboratively with others on a document. So whether you're reviewing a document for someone else, sending a document to others for review, or creating a markup document with inline changes for a public discussion, Track Changes makes it easy to see what changes were proposed by each user.
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