This is one of the first things I learned when I started working for a local government law firm. If you often work with and negotiate agreements, you need to know track changes. Track changes shows all changes you make to a document. You can also make comments and ink a document. In this blog post I’ll show you how to use track changes.
Before you use track changes, make sure you save your original document. Then save it as a different name. I usually call it “documentname redline date.” Sometimes I also write the initials of the person making the changes. To turn on track changes, go in the Review tab and click on Track Changes. You can now make changes to your document. When you add words, they will appear in a different color. When you delete words, they will show as strikethrough. To make comments, click on New Comment. Your comment will show in a balloon. You can also ink your document as if you were writing with a pen or highlighter.
You can play around with the settings based on what you need. You have the option of seeing All Markup, Simple Markup, No Markup or Original. I mostly use All Markup when I revise a document and No Markup to see what the final document will look like. Under Show Markup, you can pick which markup you want to show by clicking on Comments, Ink, Insertions and Deletions, and Formatting. You can also pick what will show in Balloons. Finally you can select which Author you want to see. If you like to see all changes in one place outside of the document, click on the Reviewing Pane.
To make sure the other party doesn’t turn off track changes when editing the document, click on the arrow on the Track Changes button and then select Lock Tracking. Enter a password to lock the document and make sure you remember it. When locked, you can’t accept or reject changes.
Before you finalize your document, save it as a different name ex: documentname Final date. Then you can accept or reject the one or all changes and delete comments. If you review the changes one by one, you can click on the Previous or Next button. You can do the same thing with the comments. When you’re done, turn off Track Changes and review your final document to make sure the formatting is right.
Final Tip: Did the other party make changes to your document without using track changes? Do you want to know what changes they made? Use the Compare tool to find out. You can compare two versions of a document and see the differences in blackline.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Your Paralegal Help Desk's blogger is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should immediately seek the advice of a licensed attorney in your state.