The book and its tutorial videos go into options for seeing Tracked Changes in quite a bit of detail, so here we’ll just compare seeing changes in balloons vs seeing them inline. We’re also sticking with the defaults for colour, underlining, etc. though it’s almost all customizable. Except for specifying which reviewer is shown in which colour; that’s impossible.
From the All Markup options in the Tracking area of the Review ribbon you can choose:
- All Markup
- No Markup
The Simple option just puts a line in the margin of the document (on screen only!) indicating that a change was made somewhere on that line; no changes are marked up on screen. No Markup shows the final edited version; again, no changes are marked up on screen. The other two options are obvious.
These options only change what is displayed. The changes are still intact, tracked if you told Word to track them.
The changes we’ll look at now are found under Markup Options in the same area of the Review ribbon. Scroll down to Balloons in those options and you’ll find the two biggest choices: whether changes are shown inline or in balloons.
It also matters whether you’re using Draft view or Page Layout — those options at the bottom right border of the Word window or on the left edge of the View ribbon. Draft view cannot display changes in balloons and usually launches the Reviewing pane to show Comments and the list of changes. Page Layout view was used to create the image examples here.
No Markup, Original, and Simple Markup make it look like no changes are being tracked, as changes are hidden in those views. Switch views to see the changes that have been made.
Preferences do not travel with the file. The way that Tracked Changes are displayed must be set on each user’s computer. That means that others on your team won’t see what you’re seeing unless you have made your settings identical.
Even if you have kept the default preference, others will not see exactly what you see. When each user’s changes are shown in a different colour (the default option), those colour selections change each time you open the file. Thanks, Microsoft.
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