Tracking changes

Tracking changes

Tracking changes in a word document means to keep a record of the changes made in a document. For example, a student writes a report and gives it to the teacher for checking. Just as a teacher makes corrections using a red pen in a paper copy, the teacher can make changes in a word processor using the Track Changes mode. This will highlight the changes and make it easier for the students to see and correct their mistakes.

How to Start/Stop Tracking Changes in LibreOffice Writer

To start tracking changes in LibreOffice Writer, click Edit and then click Track Changes.

This will show a sub-menu with several options. To start tracking changes, the first step is to click Record or press Ctrl+Shift+E. Once you click Record, all changes made to the document will be recorded and displayed in a different colour. If you want to stop tracking the changes, click Record again.

Tracking Options

With the Record on, all changes are recorded. These are displayed in a different colour. Any text that is deleted will not disappear, but will appear as strikethrough (or cut across with a line, for example change).

This Track Changes sub-menu provides many options. You can move from one change to the other using the Next and Previous options.

When a change is selected you can accept it or reject it using Accept and Reject options. If you accept, the change will become a permanent part of the text and if you reject, it will revert to the original text.

If you think all the changes are OK, then you can accept them all at once using the Accept All command. Similarly, if you do not want to accept any changes and want to revert back to the original text, then you can use the Reject All option.

Sometimes, we may want to see how the document will appear with all the changes accepted without actually accepting them. If you click the Show option, the document will appear as if the changes have been accepted. If you click Show again, the document will appear in track mode with the changes.

You can protect the changes by adding a password. Click Protect. This will open the Enter Password dialog box. Add a password. Now only the person who knows this password will be able to accept or reject the changes and no one else.

  • A word processor is a software for typing, formatting and creating documents.
  • There are two types of formatting that we can apply – character formatting and paragraph formatting.
  • For character formatting, we must first select all the characters where we want to apply the formatting. For paragraph formatting, it is enough to have any part of the paragraph selected – for a single paragraph, it is sufficient to place the insertion point somewhere in that paragraph.
  • Character formatting includes – font, font style, size, font colour, underline style, underline colour, and effects – for example subscript, superscript, emboss, etc.
  • Paragraph formatting comprises of – alignment; indents – left, right, first line and hanging; space before and after paragraphs; and line spacing.
  • To highlight the points, we can use bullets or numbering for the paragraphs.
  • If we plan to put tabular data, we can either use tabs – left, right, center and decimal; or use table to type in the text within the cells.
  • To enhance the appeal of the document, we can insert pictures – either from clip art, or from files. We might have to select appropriate wrapping options to have the text around the picture.
  • We can move or duplicate text in a document or across documents using options like Cut, Copy and Paste.
  • If we are likely to make mistakes (and all of us are!), we can utilise the word processor to check the spellings and grammar.
  • Before we print the document, we must decide on margins, page size, gutter etc. through Page Setup.
  • If we need to have many copies of documents which are same except for some parts, like invitation letters, we can use the mail merge facility to make the task simpler.
  • We can allow others to review the documents by editing as well as by adding comments. These changes can be tracked. We can later decide as to whether to keep those changes or to revert back to the original text.


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