Tag Archives for " Track Changes "

3 Child looking through a magnifying glass

How to keep Track Changes from broadcasting your confidential data

If you frequently edit documents in “group” mode (exchanging drafts of a release with opposing counsel, for example), you’ve probably used Word’s Track Changes feature to stay on top of the edits.

Track Changes, however, has its problems. Sometimes it’s tricky to even tell if Track Changes is turned on. That becomes particularly important when you’re exchanging documents with people outside the office (and critical when it’s opposing counsel you’re dealing with). After all, if you don’t know that your own edits are being tracked and recorded, you may be inadvertently revealing confidential information.

Fortunately, you can tweak certain settings in Microsoft Word to ensure that you don’t get tripped up by hidden tracked changes. Here are my suggestions for features you should turn on so Track Changes is always open and obvious and under your complete control. Continue reading

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Don’t let Track Changes trip you up

If you’ve tried to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature without someone to show you the ins and outs, you probably had a pretty frustrating experience. But what you might not know is that Track Changes can even be a bit dangerous in the wrong hands.

To keep from tripping over Track Change’s stumbling blocks, head over to Lawyerist (after 11 am CT) and check out Don’t Let Track Changes Trip You Up, where I show you what settings you need to be aware of to keep your document safe.

Click here for the full illustrated article.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Using Microsoft Word to Edit by Committee

Ever experienced “death by redlining”? You know what I mean. It’s that headache-inducing series of emails in which you and your colleagues send seemingly endless drafts of the document  du jour back-and-forth, ad infinitum.

While I can’t do anything about those unreasonable people who don’t like the way you phrased something or other, I can help you make up for their lack of skill with Microsoft Word. Click here to read the full article before your next “editing by committee” session, and you’ll be prepared to deal with other people’s bad formatting without tearing your own hair out.

Weekly Roundup: Tips for redlining documents, tweaking Word Options, saving emails as pdfs, and fixing line spacing

For this week’s Roundup: several reasons you might not want to employ Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature the next time you redline a document, getting under the hood with Word Options (even if you’re not a techie), another way to save Outlook email as a pdf (in case you want to take it with you on your iPad or other mobile device), and one possible reason your line spacing changes won’t stick in Word (a problem several of you have reported to me). Let’s get it started:

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63 The case of the shrunken comment balloon

And now for a dispatch from the “Well, I’ve never seen this before” Department … Just when I thought I had seen it all, my boss threw me a curve ball, courtesy of his new-found affection for Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature.

He’s been using Track Changes a lot lately, and it’s turned out to be a pretty handy feature for him, since he’s been doing a lot of contract work. Marked-up documents have been flying back and forth via e-mail, and the Microsoft Word Track Changes feature has made life a lot easier for him.

Until last week, that is. He was getting ready to send out another reviewed document, when he opened it up from his outgoing e-mail and saw something like this:

Yikes! Who could possibly read that? That comment balloon is way too small!

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3 Guest Post @ Attorney at Work: Give Final Documents a Good Scrubbing

If you send documents out for review electronically, this guest post I’ve done over at Attorney at Work is a must-read. It’s a checklist of actions you need to make sure you’ve taken prior to attaching a Word document to an email and hitting the “Send” button.  Before you start that next round of revisions, read through this and familiarize yourself with Microsoft Word’s security settings designed to combat potentially compromising metadata.

The full article can be found here.

15 Customizing the Status Bar

There’s a whole host of ways you can make the various Microsoft Office applications easier to use. In fact, most users don’t take full advantage of the options for customizing these applications to make the Office suite work better for them.

Today, we’re going to talk about one of the easiest customizations: the Status Bar. Look at the bottom of any Office application and you’ll see a bar just above the Windows Taskbar at the bottom (like this example from Word 2007):

Status Bar from Microsoft Word

(If you need to see the above a bit bigger, click on it for a full-sized version.  Go on — I’ll wait here.)

Most users don’t know they can change the information listed on the task bar in any Office application (except Outlook, unfortunately). And it’s really easy:

1) Right-click your mouse anywhere on the status bar.

2) Select the option(s) you want (check marks on this example from Word 2007 indicate the option is already selected and showing up on the Status Bar):

Customize Status Bar right-click menu from Microsoft Word

I recommend, for example, always turning on the Track Changes indicator, and I personally think the Word Count is a handy piece of information to have.  Feel free to experiment with adding or deleting features — you won’t mess up your document!

3) Once you’ve made your choices, click elsewhere on the screen to close the Customize Status Bar menu and save your changes.

That’s it! (That may be the easiest Word task you’ll do all day!)

Now, why is this important? Here are some scenarios to consider:

1) Someone’s sent you a document to review/revise and left Track Changes on, so when you start typing, Word starts redlining the document. With the status bar set to show the status of Track Changes, you can simply click on that section once to turn it off. That’s much simpler (and faster) than going to the Review tab, dropping down the Track Changes menu, and turning it off there.

2) You’ve imported some text from WordPerfect and notice that the headers and footers mysteriously change mid-document. Why? The status bar gives you a clue: the section numbers at the left keep changing. (Text imported from WordPerfect often embeds random section breaks into a document, which can affect the headers and footers.) How much time would you have otherwise spent trying to troubleshoot that problem?

3) Ever wanted to get a quick sum or count of highlighted cells in Excel without creating a formula? Change the status bar to show Count and Sum. You can also get quick calculations of Averages, Minimums and Maximums in the status bar.

So, what items would you want to see in the status bar? Tell me about ’em in the comments below.

1 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.

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2 Showing, hiding and printing tracked changes

Once you know how to turn on Word’s Track Changes feature, you may want to be able to see the document in its original state and with all the changes without having to accept or reject changes.  Here’s an easy way to do that (with some caveats):

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3 Automatically marking document edits with Track Changes

If you want to be able to track what changes have been made to a document, then you want to use the Word feature called (big surprise here) Track Changes.

Here’s a little tutorial on how to turn on Track Changes in Word (both the menu-based versions 2002 and 2003 and the Ribbon versions 2007 and up), plus some notes about the feature’s little quirks you’ll want to watch out for.

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