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If you’re editing a document or manuscript for someone, you need to use Microsoft Word and its Track Changes feature. Track Changes does exactly what it says – it tracks all your edits so the author can see what you’ve changed and can approve, reject or amend your edits.

What about other programs?

You can also track changes in Google Docs, but if your client isn’t using this platform, some of their formatting could go missing if you convert their file from Word to Google Docs format. Word is also the default writing and editing program used in publishing, so for the purposes of this article, we’ll stay with Word. The easiest way to lean how to edit or proofread in Word is just to watch my video tutorial below. But I’ve also summarised the main steps below the video.

Editing in Microsoft Word using Track Changes:

1. Activate Track Changes: To begin editing your document with Track Changes, click on the “Review” tab in the Word ribbon, and then select “Track Changes.” This function allows you to make revisions and suggestions without permanently altering the original text.

2. Make Edits and Comments: As you review your document, make edits, insert comments, and suggest changes. All your modifications will be displayed with different formatting, making it easy to spot what has been altered.

3. Review Comments: If you’re working with others, they can add comments for clarification or suggestions. To review these comments, navigate to the “Review” tab, and click on “Reviewing Pane.” This allows you to see all comments in one place and address them accordingly.

4. Accept or Reject Changes: After reviewing all the suggested edits and comments, you can accept or reject them individually or all at once. This feature helps maintain control over your document while integrating valuable input.

5. Final Review: Before considering your document complete, it’s essential to do a final review with Track Changes turned off to ensure it looks polished and professional.

If you want a more detailed explanation of editing in Word as well as in PDFs, see my Udemy course: Become an Editor and Proofreader.

Udemy editing and proofreading course

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