How to redline documents in Word.

Learn how to use change tracking and comments to redline documents in Microsoft Word.

Redlining is a crucial part of writing official documents and contracts. It involves keeping a record of all changes you make during writing to produce a document that satisfies both you and all other parties. Read on to learn how to redline documents in Microsoft Word.

Track changes during redlining.

Word allows you to track changes and leave comments on a document. These two tools are simple to use and let you easily redline documents. Follow these steps to track changes:

  1. Select the Review tab from the top toolbar.
  2. Select Track Changes.
  3. Set the markup settings to All Markup.
  4. Tick all options in the Show Markup drop-down menu.

Word will now strikethrough all deleted text and underline new text in red. You can accept or reject someone else’s tracked changes with the corresponding buttons in the Review tab.

Comment on documents.

It’s equally easy to add comments to a document. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the Review tab.
  2. Highlight the text portion on which you want to comment.
  3. Select New Comment.
  4. Type your comment in the balloon box that shows up.

You can resolve comments with the Resolve button in the balloon and it will leave a record of the comment in file history. You can also right-click on the comment and select Delete Comment to erase it completely.

Redline better with PDF files.

There’s one downside to redlining in Word. Anyone could forget to turn change tracking on and accidentally edit the document without leaving any traces. This can introduce great risks, particularly with sensitive contracts.

A better option is to redline your documents with PDF editing software, like Adobe Acrobat. Save your Word document as a PDF and use Acrobat to add comments, mark text for deletion, suggest alternate phrasings, and more — without having to worry about accidental changes.

Discover what more you can do with Acrobat to edit, convert, and share PDF files.