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Preventing Untracked Changes

When you share a Word document, it's common to turn on the Track Changes feature (choose Review, Track Changes) so that you can see all the edits made by the other person. Unfortunately, it's easy to turn off Track Changes (either accidentally or on purpose) so you can never be sure whether your document contains any untracked changes.

If it's important that you track all edits, it's possible to set up Word to prevent untracked changes and even to enforce this option with a password. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose Review, Protect Document (or choose Developer, Protect Document) and then click Restrict Formatting and Editing. Word displays the Restrict Formatting and Editing task pane.
  2. Click to activate the Allow Only This Type of Editing in the Document check box.
  3. In the Editing Restrictions list, click Tracked Changes.
  4. Click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. The Start Enforcing Protection dialog box displays.
  5. Type the password twice and then click OK.

If you or another authorized user need to freely edit the document text, choose Review, Protect Document (or choose Developer, Protect Document), and then Restrict Formatting and Editing to display the Restrict Formatting and Editing task pane. Click Stop Protection, type the password, click OK, and then deactivate the Allow Only This Type of Editing in the Document check box.

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