If you have been sharing documents with your colleagues during the preparation phase and using the Track Changes feature in the process, you may want to be certain that you are not sharing all comments, etc., when you forward your document to someone outside your firm.
The quickest method to be sure that you have turned off your Track Changes is to check your Status Bar at the bottom of your screen or the Review tab. If you do not see where it says Track Changes off, you may not have your Status Bar set to alert you to that. Simply right-click (Remember, left click selects and right-click gives you choices) on your Status Bar, navigate to the Track Changes feature and select it.
You can now toggle Track Changes on and off by clicking that indicator in your Status Bar. Having said that, it will do nothing toward keeping other folks from seeing any changes you have previously made.
To make certain that nobody sees your changes follow the steps below:
- Click on the Review tab of your Ribbon and be certain that the drop-down at the top of the Tracking section says Final: showing Markup.
- The buttons in the Changes and Comments section of your Review tab will allow you to review and accept or reject any other marked edits or comments that still appear in your text.
There are options in Word that are normally turned on by default to alert you when you open, save or print a document with tracked changes or comments. Are yours set to alert you??
Follow these steps to be certain:
- Click the File tab on your Ribbon.
- Click the Word Options button.
- On the left, click the Trust Center button.
- Click the Trust Center Settings button.
- Click Privacy Options and in the Document specific settings area, you will see two checkboxes that you will need to select:
- Warn before printing, saving or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments; and
- Make hidden markup visible when opening or saving.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention that Word has a Document Inspector feature that will double-check your documents for comments, revisions, XMLdata, invisible content, hidden text, etc.
To access the Document Inspector in Word 2010, follow the steps below:
- Click on the File tab of your Ribbon.
- Click Info on the left.
- Click Check for Issues and Inspect Document.
Word will report anything it finds and give you the opportunity to clean your document before you send it to someone.