Tracking Moved Text

Sometimes I want to move text. It’s nice when Word will mark it as moved. That causes less pain to my writer who at first thinks I deleted a bunch of their wonderful words.
My Word options are set to mark moved text as shown above.

The problem is that this function is glitchy in Word. Sometimes you just can’t get the text to be marked as “moved.” After checking that the Preferences for Track Changes (see figure below) are indeed set to mark moves, try these two solutions:

  • Make sure to select the entire sentence right up to the terminal punctuation. Then drag it with a mouse/pointer/whathaveyou.
  • After selecting the text that you want to move, use this keyboard shortcut to move the text up or down a whole paragraph at a time:

Mac: ctrl + shift + up arrow

Windows: alt + shift + up arrow

Check the Moves group in the middle of the Track Changes preferences dialog.


‘Move’ tracking doesn’t work for a phrase or just part of the sentence, it has to include the terminal punctuation. You could hack this by adding terminal punctuation, moving the phrase, and then deleting the punctuation. Just be sure to do the adding and removing of punctuation without tracking or it will look very confusing and sloppy.

This is a newer function that may not work on doc files, so make sure they’re saved as docx.

If it just. won’t. cooperate. Leave a comment explaining the move, with or without tracking, based on the needs of your writer.

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on making the most of Track Change, start on p. 8 of the book.

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