Skip to the content Back to Top

Have you ever sent a Word document or Excel spreadsheet out for review and asked the recipient to please, please, please either turn on Track Changes or insert Comments, so you can see their revisions, only to have the document come back with neither? If so, here are two features available in Word and Excel that will help.

First, before sending a document out for review, you can turn on Track Changes in such a way that the recipient cannot turn it off without knowing a password. To do so in Word 2007:

  1. Select the Review tab on the Ribbon Bar, click the Protect Document button, and choose the Restrict Formatting and Editing option.
  2. In the panel that appears, ignore option 1, but tick option 2 and change the drop down selector to Tracked Changes (or Comments if you prefer to only allow comments to be made).
  3. Click the Yes, Start Enforcing Protection button and enter a password when prompted, to allow you to turn off Tracked Changes or Comments later.
  4. Save the document and send it out for review.

The procedure is similar in Excel.

In both applications, you can also be more fine-grained in what editing you allow, such as restricting editing to speciic cells in a spreadsheet or styles in a document (e.g. the user may edit body text but not headings).

The document may be opened by the recipient as usual, but Track Changes or Comments will be enabled and may only be disabled by following the same steps as above, but disabling protection with the password.

If you had forgotten to add Track Changes (with a password) to the document that you sent, you can use the Compare option. Open your original document and the one that was edited without changes being tracked. You can then compare the two and produce a version with changes tracked, which you can then proceed to accept or reject as appropriate.

Let Us Help You!

We're Librarians - We Love to Help People