Acrobat: View Word’s Track Changes in PDF

May 21, 2010

You can create a PDF of a Word document that has Track Changes showing — or not.

Sometimes, reviewers need to see the changes made. For example, you might be working in an organization where revised documents have to go to a third party for interim approval before the final revision is submitted. In such cases, the third party (e.g. a government regulatory body) may want to see the changes made to the document based on their previously submitted comments and queries.

To show Track Changes in the PDF, you change a setting in your Word document, NOT in Acrobat. The instructions below describe changing the setting in Word 2007/2010; Word 2003 works similarly.

  1. Go to the Review tab on the Word 2007 Ribbon.
  2. Go to the Tracking group.
  3. Select an option from the Final Showing Markup list —  select Final Showing Markup to show the Track Changes in the PDF;  select Final to NOT show the Track Changes.
  4. Optional: To decide which Track Changes to show, check or uncheck options from the Show Markup list (directly below the Final Showing Markup list). For example, you might want to hide Formatting changes and Comments and just show Insertions and Deletions.
  5. Create the PDF as usual.

Here’s how the PDF looks with Final Showing Markup selected:

And the same text with Final selected:

See also:


  1. […] View in Final view while you’re writing or editing to avoid seeing all the changes; switch to Final Showing Markup view when you’re ready to accept/reject the changes. […]

  2. Word will not create a PDF in 6×9 page size that shows markup. Anyone know how to fix that?

  3. I find it much easier to use this tool: http://www.winzip.com/win/en/features/word-to-pdf.html but your way is fine too

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