Word is a great editing tool to use when you're working with others on a project. It has features that allow you to manage everyone's changes and contributions to the document. Using these, you can view the changes that have been made and who made them, and you can easily accept or undo them as desired.
The Microsoft Word 2007 tool for working collaboratively on a document with others is called Track Changes and you'll find it on the Review tab on the ribbon. To get started, click the Track Changes button and Word will, from now on, track the changes that you make to the document. It tracks three kinds of changes: words that are inserted, words that are deleted, and words that are moved.
If you highlight and move a sentence or paragraph, the sentence will be marked with double strikeout where it was removed from and double underlined where it is moved to. The exact colors and formatting used for the track changes can be configured by clicking the small arrow on the bottom right corner of the Track Changes button and click the Change Tracking Options menu. In the Track Changes Options dialog, you can configure the colors and formatting used for each type of change.
Tracking moved text is new to Microsoft Word 2007 and has not appeared in previous versions. This can be enabled or disabled using the Track moves checkbox in this dialog. In addition, you can select to disable or enable formatting changes to the document. If formatting changes are not important, disable the Track formatting checkbox.
The Markup options control how changes are identified. By default, insertions use Underline formatting and deletions use Strikethrough, and each is rendered with a color that is applied based on the author's name. If you leave the By Author option selected, each individual author who contributes to the document will be automatically assigned a different color combination making it easier to identify who has made the change by the color of the type.
In most cases you won't need to make any changes to the Track Changes Options but if you are having difficulty identifying changes, for example if you are colorblind then the differences between red and green will be difficult to decipher and you may want to change the colors used by selecting a specific color combination for each author.
To use a horizontal pane, click the down-pointing arrow to the immediate right of the Reviewing Pane button and choose Reviewing Pane Horizontal instead. The revision pane shows a list of changes made to the document and it can be used to navigate around the changes - double click on a heading in the reviewing pane and you will be taken immediately to the point in the document where that change appears.
The reviewing pane shows not only the changes but also the name of the person who made them. If the reviewing pane isn't visible, hold your mouse pointer over a change in the document and a small box will appear with the reviewer's name.
If desired, you can select the type of markup you see. Click the down-pointing arrow beside the Show Markup button and select to view elements such as Comments, Insertions and Deletions, and Formatting. On this menu, in the Reviewers area you can click to view the changes from all reviewers or only those you want to see.
The Balloons button gives you options for how you see the changes ? either inline in the document or in a balloon to one side of it. If you select the Balloon option, you'll see insertions and moved paragraphs in place but changes like deletions will appear in balloons to the side. You can also select the Show Only Comments and Formatting in Balloons which places just comments and formatting in balloons and which leaves everything else in place in the document.