Do you prefer editing with a specific color? If so, you can change the color of Track Changes markup in Microsoft Word. Specifically, you can choose from eighteen different colors for insertions, deletions, text movements, and comment balloon borders, as shown in this tutorial.
Before starting the tutorial, please review these important notes:
- Track Changes colors apply to all markup in the document. Word doesn’t currently offer a way to choose specific colors for individual users.
- Track Changes colors appear in-line (i.e., in the text) rather than in balloons or the Reviewing pane. If your markup only appears in balloons or doesn’t appear at all, please see the bonus section below for the steps to show Track Changes in-line.
- Track Changes colors are stored in your computer, not in your document. Therefore, your color choices won’t transfer to someone else’s computer.
- The color of Track Changes for formatting is customizable. However, the results can be visually confusing because color changes can be format changes. For best results, show format tracking in comment balloons.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 250 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word in Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013. However, your interface may look different in those older versions of the software.
How to Change the Color of Track Changes
- Select the Review tab in the ribbon.
- Select the dialog box launcher in the Tracking group.
- Select the Advanced Options button in the Track Changes Options dialog box.
- Choose a new color for each of the tracking options in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box:
(C) Comments (This is the color of the comment balloon border, not the color of the comment text.)
(D) Text movements
Important Note: The “By author” option gives each user a different color. The software chooses those colors and does not currently offer a way to customize colors for different users.
- Select the OK button in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box.
- Close the Track Changes Options dialog box.
Your color selections should appear immediately.
- Save your file to save your changes.
If your Track Changes markup doesn’t appear in-line, follow the steps below to review your current settings.
Bonus Section: How to Show Track Changes In-line
- Select the Review tab in the ribbon (see figure 1).
- Ensure that All Markup is selected in the Display for Review menu.
- Ensure that Insertions and Deletions is selected in the Show Markup menu.
- Ensure that Show All Revisions Inline or Show Only Comments and Formatting in Balloons is selected in the Balloons menu.
Updated August 22, 2022