Reviewing, accepting and rejecting others’ changes in Track Changes

After you’ve redlined a document using Track Changes (and maybe even inserted some comments and printed some review copies) you’ll need to accept or reject the various marked changes in order to finalize the document.  Here’s how.

First, get all the changes visible by choosing “Final Showing Markup” on the Reviewing Toolbar (versions 2002-2003) or the Review tab (versions 2007 and up):

Track Changes Toolbar in Word 2002

Versions 2002-2003 – Track Changes Toolbar


Word 2010 – Show Markup

(Wait – you don’t see that on your screen?  In Word 2002-2003, go to View, Toolbars, then scroll down until you see Reviewing and click it; in Word 2007 and above, go to the Review tab and click the drop-down shown above.)

Now, turn Track Changes off.  To do that, click the Track Changes button (second from the right on the toolbar in Word 2002-2003) so it’s disabled like so:

Track Changes Toolbar in Word 2002 - Track Changes turned off

(Take a look at the toolbar.  Notice how the second button from the right no longer has lines around it?  That means Track Changes is off.  You can also tell by looking at the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen – the “TRK” will be grey, not black.)

In Word 2007 and up, you can either go back to the Review tab and click Track Changes to turn it off:


… or you can toggle it off at the Status Bar (you did fix your Status Bar, right?):


If you’re just going to accept all changes in the document, then this is easy-peasy.  Just click the drop-down next to the button with the check-mark and choose Accept All Changes in Document:

Word 2002-2003


Word 2010 - Accept All Changes

Word 2010 – Accept All Changes

Similarly, if you’re going to reject all the changes, use the button with the red “X” mark and do the same thing:

Word 2002-2003



Word 2010

If you’re going to accept some changes but reject others, it’s a little (but not much more) complicated.

  1. Put your cursor at the beginning of your document
  2. Click the “Next” button to go to the first change to be accepted or rejected
  3. Click the Accept button if you want to save the change or the Reject button if you want to discard it
  4. Return to step 2 and repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach the end of the document (note: the more recent versions of Word do not require you to use the “Next” button — the cursor will automatically move to the next change when you Accept/Reject the current change)
  5. If your document has comments, be sure to remove those as well by using the “Delete All Comments in Document” option (under the Reject button in Word 2002-2003 and under Delete in Word 2007 and above)
Delete all comments in document

Word 2002-2003


Word 2010

Word 2010

For more information about Track Changes, see also:

Automatically marking document edits with Track Changes

Showing, hiding and printing tracked changes

Inserting comments with Track Changes

About the Author

I spend an inordinate amount of my time playing with computers and attempting to explain technology to lawyers and law office staff. It's not always easy, but someone's got to do it.