Word: Turn off Track Changes before updating fields

July 18, 2014

Based on a Writing Tip I wrote for my work colleagues…


Try to remember to turn off track changes before you update any fields in your document. If you don’t, things like automated caption numbering, the table of contents, the list of tables/figures, automated cross-references, etc. will all show tracked changes.

If you forget, don’t panic! Turn off track changes and update the fields again—that will get rid of most of the field update track changes so you won’t have to accept/reject hundreds of them manually.

Hint: A quick and easy way to turn track changes on and off is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+E.


  1. Thanks for the tip. I hadn’t thought of that! Duh! And I’d say I was a Word power user. Just goes to show that learning is a lifelong experience.

  2. I probably should clarify that the bit I hadn’t thought of was how to fix the tracked cross-references once I’d inadvertently tracked them, and not realised immediately, in which case, I could of course just undo the update, turn off tracked changes then redo the update. Thanks again.

  3. turning off tracked changes does not sufficiently solve the problem, as there are changes throughout the document. Even updating a list of tables does not update the millions of table titles inside a document, which remains as a tracked change in each case

  4. Hi Steven

    Try this macro — it accepts all field changes in the doc: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/word-macro-to-fix-track-changescross-references-issues/

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