Track Changes are an invaluable tool in an editor’s work tool, as these outline every change that has been made in that manuscript. The changes appear in a different color (normally red, but I have seen it be blue, purple, brown – depending on how many people have already made previous changes to the text) from the rest of the text, and a black line on the lefthand side of the page indicates a change in that line of text. The lines also help the client – you – to see where changes have been made, such as an insertion of a comma that is difficult to pick up.


Sometimes, when the change is not obvious, they are accompanied by a comment from the editor to indicate why that change was made. The following website shows you how to turn on or turn off change tracking, Turn on or off change tracking, and gives other hints on how to use Track Changes

Tracked changes can be found in the Review Panel of Word, along with an option for ‘Final Showing Markup’ or just ‘Final’. Just click the Track Changes icon and it will turn yellow, and every change made after that will be noted in the text (in another color, such as red). If you then click the same icon again, then the Track Changes will be turned off, and any further changes will not be marked in the text. Turning off Track Changes does not eliminate any changes that were previously made – they will always be there.

Here is an example of what is seen when Track Changes are used, and you can easily see the changes:
Molly went to the door and le t the cat out. The cat was not happy and started to scath scratch at teh the door. Molly then let the cat back in.

Initially clicking the Track Changes icon also automatically changes the status of the document to ‘Final Showing Markup’, and both the editor and the reader will then see all the changes. If you do not want to see the changes but still maintain them, then change the document status to ‘Final’ and this shows the final document with all the changes. It looks like a ‘clean’ copy but all it means is that the changes are hidden, and will only be re-seen when the status is returned to ‘Final Showing Markup’.

All our editors at use Track Changes to show the changes made to the manuscript. This allows our clients to see where these changes are – some clients have minimal changes, while others will see many. If you do not want any changes to be seen in your document at all, then we can send a ‘Clean’ copy, where all changes have been accepted, the Track Change icon is off, and the document is as new.

Track Changes is vital in letting our clients know where the editor has made changes their text and it allows them to see whether they are making the same mistake over – whether in grammar or spelling – and then to see the correct spelling or grammar. So Track Changes can also be a learning tool for the client as by seeing the changes that have been made in their manuscript, they should know not the repeat these mistakes in further documents .

Using Track Changes is simple and the icon can easily be switched on or off just by clicking on it. When you receive a document from FirstEditing, Track Changes will still be on; therefore, if you are making further changes, please be sure to turn it off or they will show as changes in the document – but they will be in a different color from the editor’s!.