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How do I use Track changes with out creating a potential privacy problem?
Q. How do I use  Track Changes in Word 2007 without potential privacy problems?
A. My colleague and I have had a look at the problem of tracked changes being visible after they have been accepted, creating potential privacy problems.

 A possible problem seems to be when revisions are accepted, but comments are not deleted. They need to be deleted separately.

 Another misunderstanding is that changing the display view from ‘Final Showing Markup’ to ‘Final’ removes the comments and revisions. This just means they are hidden. Chances are that the next time someone else opens the document, the comments will be displayed as it will default to ‘Final Showing Markup’ when they open it on their machine.

 There are two ways of avoiding problems, one of which is a new feature available in Office 2007.

 General Rule: If you want to preserve the revision marks and comments and also publish a copy where they won’t be seen, Microsoft recommends that you make 2 copies – one for yourself and a separate one for distribution after you have removed the comments and revisions. So, make a copy before you start and then follow these steps on the one you want to share or publish.

 1.    Using the Reviewing toolbar (Office XP/2003) or Review tab in the ribbon (Office 2007), accept/reject all or individual changes.

2.    Now go through the comments and delete individually or delete all.

3.    Make sure you cannot see any editing you want to hide – you can now switch the display view to Final and save the document.

4.    You can close the document and open it again to make sure it is displayed as you expect, or send it to a colleague for them to make sure you have removed all comments and accepted or rejected all the revisions required.


In Office 2007, you have an extra feature called Document Inspector. You must save the document  before running this as you cannot undo changes it makes.

1.    Accept the changes as described above. If you have comments in the document, Document Inspector can remove them for you. Save the document.

2.    Choose the Prepare option from the Office button menu.

3.    Choose Inspect Document command.

4.    Make sure the first check box is ticked for Comments, Revisions etc..and  click the Inspect button. This will identify whether your file contains items that may be visible to another reader.

5.    Choose Remove all to remove them from your document.

6.    The Document Inspector will remove any revisions, annotations, tracking or comments. (Remember this is permanent and cannot be undone).


Modified 01/09/2016