Editing a document can be hard work (as proofreaders, we know this better than anyone). But there are tricks you can use to make life easier, such as the \u2018Track Changes\u2019 function in Microsoft Word.\r\nThis is how we record corrections when you send a document to us for proofreading. But you can also use it yourself while redrafting an essay. In this blogpost, we explain why you should.\r\nWhat Is the \u2018Track Changes\u2019 Function?\r\nThe aptly named \u2018Track Changes\u2019 tool in Microsoft Word automatically records any changes made to a document while it is turned on. As well as letting you quickly see where alterations have been made, this makes it easier to review and revert edits if you change your mind later.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_3471" align="aligncenter" width="429"] An edited document.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nAs such, it can be a great time saver when editing an essay or dissertation chapter.\r\nHow to Use Track Changes\r\nThis tool is also very easy to use. In Word 2007 or later, to turn it on, simply:\r\n\r\n\tGo to the \u2018Review\u2019 tab on the main ribbon\r\n\tClick \u2018Track Changes\u2019 in the \u2018Tracking\u2019 section\r\n\r\nClicking the button again will turn the function off when you\u2019ve finished making edits.\r\nThe other crucial part of the \u2018Tracking\u2019 section relates to how changes are displayed (i.e. the \u2018markup\u2019 options). These are accessed via a menu next to the \u2018Track Changes\u2019 button.\r\nIn the most recent versions of Word (2013 and 2016), the options available here are:\r\n\r\n\tSimple Markup \u2013 Edits identified via red marks on the left of the page. Clicking these switches you to \u2018All Markup\u2019 and displays the changes.\r\n\tAll Markup \u2013 Edits show up in red within the main text. Deleted text also shows up in red using the strikethrough effect (e.g. like this).\r\n\tNo Markup \u2013 Displays the current document with no edits highlighted.\r\n\tOriginal \u2013 Shows the document prior to any edits being made.\r\n\r\nIn Word 2007 and 2010, the options available are similar but with different names:\r\n\r\n\tFinal Showing Markup \u2013 Edited version of document with changes shown in red.\r\n\tFinal \u2013 Edited version of document with no changes shown.\r\n\tOriginal Showing Markup \u2013 Original text with edits shown in red.\r\n\tOriginal \u2013 Original text with no edits shown.\r\n\r\nTo further customise the markup in your document, you can select specific types of edit (insertions and deletions, formatting, etc.) to display via the \u2018Show Markup\u2019 menu.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_3473" align="aligncenter" width="249"] Markup options.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nReviewing Changes\r\nOnce you\u2019ve finished editing your document, you can go through the tracked changes using the \u2018Previous\u2019 and \u2018Next\u2019 buttons in the \u2018Changes\u2019 section of the \u2018Review\u2019 tab. You can also accept or reject individual changes using the corresponding buttons in this panel.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_3474" align="aligncenter" width="264"] Navigating changes.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nAlternatively, you can tackle all changes in a document at once by clicking the little arrow on the relevant button and selecting \u2018Accept All\u2019 or \u2018Reject All\u2019 as required.