Track Changes and Comments are Microsoft Word tools often used in giving and receiving feedback on a paper. These functions are housed in the “Review" tab. 

Track Changes

The track changes function is either “on" (selected/highlighted) or “off." When Track Changes is on, Microsoft Word keeps track of any changes made in the document. Changes show up in a different color, typically red. Users can either view or hide these tracked changes. When tracked changes are hidden, a vertical red stripe appears on the left-hand side of the page where changes have been made. To view the changes in detail, click the red stripe.


Accepting or Rejecting Tracked Changes: If a tracked change should be implemented in the document, that change can be accepted. This applies the change to the document so it appears as normal text. There are two ways to accept a tracked change.

  1. Right-click on the change itself, then selecting “Accept Insertion/Deletion."
  2. Put the cursor on the change and click the “Accept" button on the Review tab.

​If a tracked change should not be implemented in the document, it should be rejected. Tracked changes can be rejected in the same way, by right clicking the change and selecting “Reject Insertion/Deletion" or by using the “Reject" button on the Review tab.


Notes can be left in a document using the New Comment feature.

  1. Highlight the word(s) or element(s) to which a comment should be attached.
  2. In the Review tab, click “New Comment."
  3. Then, type into the comment whatever note should be left.


Comments can be deleted in two ways.

  1. Right click the comment and select “Delete Comment."
  2. Place the cursor in the comment, and on the Review tab, click “Delete."


To move from one comment to the next, use the “Previous" and “Next" buttons in the Review tab.


The video "Track Changes and Show Markup in Microsoft Word" (Microsoft 365, 2018) demonstrates how to use these tools with instructions. ​​