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Microsoft Word Tips and Tricks

There are several ways that we document our requirements, and one of them is by using Microsoft Word to create a document complete with requirements, explanations, approvers, pictures of our models, and other important information. Since there are usually many people making changes to the document, we often use Track Changes to maintain version control and keep track of what comments and suggestions people have for the document.

The problem is that by default, all changes are tracked and displayed. So in addition to added or deleted requirements, the document is cluttered with indentations and format changes. We could go through line by line and accept all of the formatting changes individually, but in a 150-page document that can be time-consuming. Luckily, Word has tools that help us get around this issue.

First, of course, Track Changes must have been turned on, and the dropdown list must have “Final: Show Markup” selected.

Word1

Second, the Show Markup dropdown menu has checkboxes next to the different items that can be shown: comments, insertions and deletions, ink, and formatting. For our purposes, we’ll uncheck all of these items except for formatting.

Word2

Then, once we have only the formatting changes shown, we can accept all of the changes shown. This will accept all formatting changes at once, while leaving the insertions and deletions – typically the stuff we actually want to track – intact so that we can track those more easily.

Word3

This trick has saved us a lot of time and made it far easier to share edits and changes to the requirements with other team members. If you have any good tricks for tracking these things, please share in the comments.

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