Enabling Track Changes in Microsoft Word for Mac

How does Track Changes work?

The Microsoft Word Track Changes feature shows document owners all changes that have been made to a document, when those changes were made, and who made the changes. Here's how to enable this feature.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Mac 2019 (version 16) but are similar in older versions such as Word 2016 for Mac, Word for Mac 2011, and Word for Mac 2008.

Turn On Track Changes

The feature is set to off by default, so enable it for every document you wish to track.

  1. Go to the Review tab and select the Tracking drop-down arrow.

    Review tab in Word for Mac
  2. Turn on the Track Changes toggle switch.

    Track Changes toggle

How to Use the Track Changes Feature

When Track Changes is active, all changes made to a document are automatically marked in a variety of colors. Each color is assigned to a different collaborator on the document. This makes deletions, additions, edits, and moves readily visible and collaborators identifiable.

Choose How Markup Is Displayed

You can choose how tracked changes display while working on a document by selecting Review > Tracking. Then, choose how you want the markup to display. The options are:

  • All Markup (default): Displays all changes made in the text. Deletions, font changes, and other edits appear in bubbles along the right side of the document with the name of the collaborator who made the change.
  • Simple Markup: Reduces the amount of markup displayed in a document. A vertical line in the left margin indicates the location of a change.
  • No Markup: Hides all markup in the current document. Changes are tracked but not displayed.
  • Original: Displays the original, unchanged text of the document.

Changes made are not lost when switching to Original view.

Track Changes offers more features for collaborators, too, such as comparing versions of a document, inserting comments in a Word document, and accepting and rejecting changes.