Tracking and Referencing Documents in Microsoft Word 2010

  • 8/12/2011
In this chapter from MOS 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft Word Expert, Excel Expert, Access, and SharePoint Exams, you'll learn the mechanics for creating different types of reference material for a document, including bibliographies, cross-references, indexes, and tables of authorities (which are used in legal documents).

In this chapter, you’ll learn the mechanics for creating different types of reference material for a document, including bibliographies, cross-references, indexes, and tables of authorities (which are used in legal documents). Most of the tools you use for these tasks appear on the ribbon’s References tab.

In the first section of this chapter, you’ll learn details about tracking revisions in a document, including how to merge different versions of a document and review revisions in the combined document.

3.1 Review, Compare, and Combine Documents

In this section, you learn how to work with four groups of commands on the Review tab: Comments, Tracking, Changes, and Compare. You often use these commands when you work on a shared document with colleagues or coworkers, but you can use them effectively on your own when you need to annotate a document or compare and combine different versions of a document.

Adding Comments to a Document

A simple way to annotate a document is to insert comments. You might use a comment to indicate that a section needs revising, that information is missing, or that certain facts need to be checked. One advantage of using comments (rather than revision marks) is that they appear in context but are not integrated with the document’s content. Each comment is numbered and identified by initials associated with the user who inserts it (using the initials specified on the General tab in the Word Options dialog box). You can move from comment to comment by using the Previous and Next buttons in the Comments group. Use the Delete command to remove a comment (or all comments at once) when a comment is no longer needed.


You can view comments in balloons in the Print Layout, Full Screen Reading, and Web Layout views. In Draft and Outline views, comments are displayed in ScreenTips when you rest the mouse pointer on the highlighted text. You can also view comments in the Reviewing pane. Other options for displaying comments are available in the Track Changes Options dialog box, which is covered in the next section.

  • To insert, review, and delete comments

    1. On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click New Comment, and then type the comment.

      Depending on which document view you are using, you will enter the comment in a balloon or in the Reviewing pane.

    2. To move from comment to comment, click Next or Previous in the Comments group.

    3. To delete a comment, select the comment and then click Delete in the Comments group.

      You can also delete all comments shown or all the comments in a document.

  • To reply to a comment

    1. Select the comment you want to reply to.

    2. On the Review tab, click New Comment, and then type the reply.

Using Track Changes and Setting Track Changes Options

Tracking revisions that you or other users make to a document can be simple and straightforward. Click Track Changes on the Review tab, and then the insertions, deletions, and text moves you make in the document are highlighted, along with changes to formatting. You can then use the commands in the Changes group to find revisions and to accept or reject them.

You can also choose from a number of options for how revisions are tracked and displayed and how you view them. Many of these settings are controlled in the Track Changes Options dialog box.


In the Track Changes Options dialog box, you can specify the following:

  • Formatting that Word applies to insertions and deletions.

  • Where Word places a line that indicates where a change was made.

  • The color that identifies your changes or whether changes are specified by author.

  • The background color for comment balloons.

  • Whether and how Word tracks text that is moved.

  • Highlighting for changes to table cells.

  • Whether changes to formatting are tracked and how Word displays those changes.

  • The size and position of comment balloons and whether Word displays a balloon for all types of changes, never uses balloons, or displays balloons only for comments and formatting changes. You can also specify whether Word shows a line that connects a balloon to the text it refers to.

  • How Word orients the page when you print a document with revisions and comments.

Use the list of views available on the Display For Review menu (at the top of the Tracking group) to show or hide revisions:

  • Final: Show Markup The default option, which shows the final document with insertions, deletions, and comments.

  • Final Shows how the document appears if you accept all revisions.

  • Original: Show Mark Shows the original document with insertions, deletions, and comments.

  • Original Shows the original document without any revisions that have been made (as the document would appear if all revisions were rejected).

Because the Final and Original options let you see a document without its revision marks, you can use these options to read through passages of heavily revised text more easily.

The Show Markup menu lets you control the display of specific items. For example, in a document in which formatting changes have been tracked from start to finish, clear the check mark for Formatting to suppress the corresponding balloons or other highlighting. Word shows changes by all reviewers of a document by default. If you want to see the changes made by a specific reviewer or a particular set of reviewers, click Reviewers, click All Reviewers to remove the check mark, and then open the menu again and select the reviewer or reviewers whose work you want to inspect.

Display the Reviewing pane in horizontal or vertical layout so that you can see the collection of revisions made to a document. The Reviewing pane also shows a set of statistics about how many of each type of change the document contains.

  • To track changes and set track changes options

    1. On the Review tab, click Track Changes in the Tracking group.

      Word highlights the Track Changes command to indicate that the feature is active.

    2. On the Review tab, click Track Changes and then click Change Tracking Options.

    3. In the Track Changes Options dialog box, change the settings for how insertions and deletions should be marked, whether and how to track text moves and formatting changes, and which changes Word should display a balloon.

    4. Use the Display for Review menu to choose whether to see the final or original document, with our without markup.

    5. On the Show Markup menu, select or clear the check marks for which elements of the document markup you want to view (including comments, insertions and deletions, and formatting).

    6. Click Show Markup, Reviewers to see only the changes made by a specific reviewer or set of reviewers.

Merging Documents

If you have two or more versions of a document that you want to compare or bring together, click Compare on the Review tab. Use the first option on the menu that Word displays to compare two versions of a document. (Word also calls this a legal blackline, a method of showing only what is different between two versions of the document.) In the Compare Documents dialog box, you point to the original document and the revised document, choose settings for the types of changes Word will mark, and specify whether Word will show the results of the comparison in the original document, the revised document, or a new document.

The second option on the Compare menu is Combine, which is more fully identified as Combine Revisions From Multiple Authors Into A Single Document. The Combine Documents dialog box is set up essentially the same as the Compare Documents dialog box.

When you click OK in the Combine Documents dialog box, Word is likely to display a message box telling you that only one set of formatting changes can be stored in the merged document. You need to choose between the changes in the original document and the revised document to continue merging the documents. Word displays the results of combining the documents in a set of windows that shows the combined document in a central pane and the original and revised documents in smaller panes at the right. Word also displays the Reviewing pane along the left side of the window.


If you need to, you can merge another version of the document at this point by choosing Combine from the Compare menu again, pointing to the combined result document (Combine Result 2 in the preceding screen shot) as the original document, and selecting the next version you want to combine.

To save the combined result, click Save on the Quick Access Toolbar (or click File, Save) and then name the combined document. You can then open the combined document and work through the variations (indicated by revision marks), accepting and rejecting them as necessary, to achieve a final document.

  • To combine two or more documents into a single document

    1. Open a blank document in Word. (You can also start with the original document or one of the revised documents open.)

    2. On the Review tab, in the Compare group, click Compare, Combine.

    3. In the Combine Documents dialog box, select the original document (if it isn’t already selected) by choosing it from the drop-down list or by clicking the folder icon and browsing to the location where the document is saved.

    4. Select the revised document you want to combine with the original document.

    5. If necessary, click More to display the Comparison settings area and other options in the dialog box.

    6. In the Comparison settings area, clear or select the check boxes to specify the document elements you want Word to use in its comparison.

    7. In the Show changes at area, choose the option to show changes at the character level or the word level.

    8. In the Show changes in area, choose an option for where Word will show changes: in the original document, the revised document, or a new document.

Reviewing a Combined Document

In the window that Word displays after you combine documents, you can scroll through the combined document and the original and revised documents at the same time. Your location in each document is synchronized, which lets you refer to any of the documents as you need to.

In the Reviewing pane, you can right-click an insertion or a deletion and then accept or reject it. Working in the Reviewing pane can be cumbersome. If you prefer to work in the document itself, close the Reviewing pane (by clicking the X in the pane’s upper-right corner or clicking Reviewing Pane on the Review tab).

If you close the Reviewing pane, you can use commands in the Changes group to navigate from change to change (by clicking Previous or Next) and to accept or reject the changes showing in the combined document. The Accept and Reject menus have similar sets of commands: Accept and Move To Next, Accept Change, Accept All Changes Shown, and Accept All Changes In Document. The Accept (or Reject) All Changes Shown command is active only when you select an option other than All Reviewers from the Show Markup, Reviewers menu.

  • To review changes in a combined document

    1. In the Reviewing pane, right-click in a heading marked Inserted or Deleted and then choose the Accept or Reject option from the menu that appears.

      Or follow these steps:

    2. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click Next to move to the next revision.

    3. In the Changes group, click the arrow under Accept (or under Reject) and then click Accept Change or Reject Change.

    4. Click Accept and Move to Next to accept the revision and move directly to the next one. Click Reject and Move to Next to reject a revision and move to the next one.

    5. To accept or reject all revisions at once, click the arrow under Accept (or Reject) and then click Accept All Changes in Document or Reject All Changes in Document.

  • To accept or reject revisions made by a particular reviewer or set of reviewers

    1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click Show Markup, Reviewers.

    2. Clear the check mark next to All Reviewers, and then repeat step 1 and select the first (or only) reviewer whose revisions you want to see. Repeat step 1 again to select any other reviewer.

    3. In the Changes group, click the arrow under Accept (or Reject) and then click Accept All Changes Shown or Reject All Changes Shown to work with this group of revisions all at once.

      You can also move from revision to revision in the set that is shown and accept or reject revisions one at a time.