How to remove tracking from a Word document

Word’s “track changes” feature does exactly what it says on the tin—keeps track of changes made to a document by other users.

The purpose of this tool is to allow you to see any edits that have been made.

You might use the feature to work on a collaborative project or to have others provide feedback.

You can also easily compare documents with MS Word track changes

However, this feature can sometimes prove problematic when it comes to resolving changes and/or reading the document, which may lack clarity and be overly complicated to decipher.

That’s where it becomes important to know how to remove tracking from Word documents 

How to track changes in Word documents

First, let’s look at how to track changes. It’s simple and easy to do so in Word. When you receive a document to amend, just follow this process:

  1. Open the document.
  2. Click on “Review” in the menu bar at the top.
  3. Click on “Track changes” (about halfway along the “Review” bar).
  4. Using the drop-down menu under “Track changes”, select whether you want to track just your changes or everyone else’s, too.
  5. Make your edits. A note should pop up on the right-hand side of the document detailing which changes you’ve made.
  6. Save the document. You may wish to return it to its sender if you’ve left feedback for them. 

The ability to track changes is a useful tool for working collaboratively on Word documents or when using Word document integrations with other software. 

The benefits of tracking changes in Word documents

Word’s “track changes” feature is a useful tool for working collaboratively and receiving valuable feedback.

Users can leave comments and make edits directly to a document without losing the original wording or crucial information. 

“Track changes” is useful for:

  • Academic work
  • Professional presentations and pitches
  • Creative work
  • Training.

Feedback from others can help you improve your writing and better engage with team members, peers, and stakeholders. 

How to turn off “track changes” in a Word document

Tracking in Word is a useful tool, but it can result in poor visibility and muddied comprehension when reading a document, especially if lots of small changes have been made. 

So, here’s how to stop tracking changes in Word: 

  1. Open your Word document. 
  2. Locate the “Review” menu at the top of it.
  3. On the right side of the “Review” menu, you’ll see an option to accept or reject changes. You can either: 
  4. Go through each change and manually accept or reject it. This is great for a collaborative document where suggestions from multiple people have been made. 
  5. Choose to accept all changes and stop tracking.
  6. If you haven’t done this already by accepting all changes, turn off the track changes feature using the “Track changes” button. Alternatively, you can switch this off using the “CTRL + E” keystroke. 

What to do if you can’t disable track changes

If you find you can’t disable tracking changes in Word, there are a few steps you can take to resolve this issue. 

The first thing you need to do is to see whether “locked tracking” is on.

With locked tracking, you can’t change the status of tracked changes or turn them off. You can check whether this is the case by doing the following:

  • Head to the “Review” tab
  • Click on the drop-down menu under “Track changes”
  • If “Lock tracking” is highlighted, remove it, and then repeat the above steps to remove tracked changes. 

If this still doesn’t work, try saving the document as a protected final version. To do this:

  • Go to “File”
  • Click on “Info”
  • Press “Protect document”
  • Mark the document as final and exit the window.

Your document will then be protected from further editing and any unresolved changes should be removed. 

If this fails, try restarting your application and checking for updates.

As a last resort, retyping the text will remove the comments, although it can be time-consuming and creates space for mistakes. 

Remove markups by turning off track changes in Word

You can remove markups or comments from your Word document in two ways. Firstly, you can resolve all comments under the “Review” tab:

  • Click on “Review”
  • Head to the “Comments” section
  • You’ll see a “Delete” option with a drop-down arrow. Click on the drop-down and select “Delete all comments”.

Alternatively, you can delete and add comments manually.

Right-click on the comment to delete or resolve it, and it should disappear.

Alternatively, you can reply to comments to respond to any feedback that’s been left. 

Final thoughts

Now you know how to remove tracking from a Word document, you can collaborate on your projects without any complications. 

Creating professional documents can be even easier with PandaDoc.Why not schedule a demo, today?