I don’t particularly care for the track changes markup that displays on the right edge of documents in Microsoft Word. While it may be useful for collaborating on documents, most of what I write is solo. I searched for a way to turn this feature off for all documents. While you can’t eliminate this feature entirely, you can cut down on the “visual noise” by following a few simple steps.
Open the track changes dialog (Click “Show” on the tool bar) and turn off the Balloons setting shown below.
Here are some steps to turn off track changes and the associated markup for any given document.
Step 1: Turn off track changes. Go to the tool menu and select track changes. Now in the old days Microsoft used to put a check mark next to the item to show if it was activated or not. Now there are icons. If the icon is highlighted, usually orange or blue, then the item is active. Seems less obvious to me but then I’m no interface guru.
Step 2: Accept all changes. Next go to the toolbar and select the item indicated in the picture. Click “Accept All Changes in Document”.
Step 3: Show Final. Select “Final” from the drop down list as pictured here.
Step 4: Save the document.
Now you can edit the document without all the visual noise that track changes introduces. Also, the next time you or someone else opens the document, they’ll see just the document. And finally, your document will be smaller because you don’t have all the tracked changes saved.