As proofreaders, we\u2019re very keen on the Track Changes function in Microsoft Word.\r\n\u2018But I\u2019m not a proofreader!\u2019, we hear you cry, \u2018Why should I care? Aren\u2019t you supposed to be checking my essay? I\u2019ve got a deadline to meet! AAAAGH! Oh god, oh god, oh god\u2026\u2019\r\nCalm down, dear reader. Here, breathe into this paper bag. Feeling better? Good. We\u2019re always available to lend a hand with spelling and grammar, so there\u2019s no need to panic.\r\nThe purpose of this blog post, however, is to demonstrate how using \u2018Track Changes\u2019 could help you with editing your own work, which is always the first step in ensuring your academic writing is up to scratch. Let us explain\u2026\r\nWhat Is Track Changes?\r\n\u2018Track Changes\u2019 does exactly what the name suggests, in that it helps you keep track of changes to a document by highlighting any edits made since turning on \u2018Track Changes\u2019.\r\nAs well as allowing you to see the differences between different drafts of an essay, this makes the editing process simpler by letting you quickly revert any changes made if you later decide you preferred the original version.\r\nHow to Use Track Changes\r\nTo turn on \u2018Track Changes\u2019 in a Microsoft Word document, all you need to do is go to the \u2018Review\u2019 tab on the main ribbon, then click on \u2018Track Changes\u2019 in the \u2018Tracking\u2019 section.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_2145" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The 'Track Changes' button.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nOnce you\u2019ve done this, all edits will be recorded. How these changes are displayed depends on the \u2018Markup\u2019 options (also in the \u2018Tracking\u2019 section of the \u2018Review\u2019 panel):\r\n\r\n\tSimple Markup \u2013 Location of edits indicated via red marks at the left hand side of the page on the screen, without showing edits in the main text. Clicking the red marks will switch you to \u2018All Markup\u2019 and display the changes.\r\n\tAll Markup \u2013 This makes edits show up in red as part of the main text. Deleted text also shows up in red, indicated using the strikethrough effect (e.g. like this).\r\n\tNo Markup \u2013 See the document in its current state, with no edits displayed.\r\n\tOriginal \u2013 See the document as it was before any edits were made.\r\n\r\nWe recommend using \u2018Simple Markup\u2019, as this lets you work unimpeded while still showing where changes have been made. You can also control the type of edits that show up (e.g. changes to the text, but not formatting) via the \u2018Show Markup\u2019 menu.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_2146" align="aligncenter" width="250"] 'Show Markup' options.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nAccepting or Rejecting Changes\r\nOnce you\u2019ve finished your revisions, or received your proofread document back from us, you can check the edits by cycling through using the \u2018Previous\u2019 and \u2018Next\u2019 buttons in the \u2018Changes\u2019 section of the \u2018Review\u2019 panel.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_2147" align="aligncenter" width="221"] Accept or reject?[\/caption]\r\n\r\nYou can accept or reject changes by selecting the relevant text in the document and clicking \u2018Accept\u2019 or \u2018Reject\u2019 in the same \u2018Changes\u2019 section (you can do the same by right clicking and selecting the desired option in the dropdown menu).\r\nYou can even accept or reject all changes at once by clicking the little arrow on the \u2018Accept\u2019 and \u2018Reject\u2019 buttons and selecting the corresponding option from the menu that appears.