Word: Track Changes : MovesApril 3, 2014
Based on a Writing Tip I wrote for my team.
Some people on my team have asked why Microsoft Word doesn’t always show moved text as a move (double green underline by default), even though ‘track moves’ is turned on (Review tab > drop-down arrow next to Track Changes button > Change Tracking Options).
I investigated the circumstances under which moves are *meant* to be tracked in Word. Despite the official word on this from Microsoft, the reality is that tracking moves in Word is flaky—sometimes full sentences aren’t tracked as moves and just show as deletions/insertions, which isn’t what’s meant to happen. And that’s very frustrating.
The *official* word is that moves should be tracked under these circumstances:
- Select sentence or more, then drag and drop it at the new location.
- Select sentence or more, cut it (Ctrl+X), then paste (Ctrl+V) at the new location.
Moves are NOT tracked under these circumstances
- Copy sentence (Ctrl+C) or more, then paste (Ctrl+V) at new location.
- Dragging/copying/pasting individual words/phrases that don’t constitute a complete sentence (or more).
NOTE: Moving individual words and phrases is never tracked as a move, only moving whole sentences and parts of subsequent sentences, thus if you move a full sentence that includes a word or two of the next sentence, Word should track that as a move. However, as I said, tracking moves is very flaky and it might or might not work as designed.
[Links last checked April 2014]