How to Redline a Document in Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Redlining a document in Microsoft Word is all about tracking changes and edits made to a document. This function is incredibly useful when editing drafts or collaborating with others on a project. After you redline a document, you will see colored marks indicating added, deleted, or moved text, allowing for easy review and revision.

After completing the action of redlining a document, all changes will be visible to anyone who accesses the document. This transparency makes it easier to collaborate and ensure that all edits are accounted for and agreed upon before finalizing the document.


Imagine you’re working on a team project, and it’s your turn to review and edit the document. You want to make sure that your changes are noticed and taken into account, but how do you do that effectively? The answer lies in the power of redlining. Redlining, or track changes, is a feature in Microsoft Word that allows users to make edits to a document while clearly marking the changes. This feature is essential for anyone who collaborates on documents, whether it be in a professional, academic, or personal setting.

Redlining not only helps in pointing out the changes but also allows for easy communication between collaborators. It’s like having a conversation within the document itself, where each edit can be discussed and revised until perfection is achieved. This feature is relevant to anyone and everyone working with Word documents—students, professionals, writers, editors, and more. Plus, it’s a game-changer when it comes to maintaining document integrity during the editing process.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Redline a Document in Microsoft Word

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we’ll achieve here. By following the steps below, you will activate the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word, effectively redlining your document and preparing it for a transparent review process.

Step 1: Open your document

Open the Microsoft Word document you wish to redline.

This step is pretty straightforward—just get your document up and running. Make sure it’s the right version, and you’re ready to start tracking changes.

Step 2: Click on the “Review” tab

Navigate to the “Review” tab at the top of the Word window.

The Review tab is where all the editing magic happens. It’s your command center for reviewing documents, so familiarize yourself with its features.

Step 3: Click on “Track Changes”

Within the “Review” tab, click on the “Track Changes” button to turn on the feature.

By enabling Track Changes, every edit you make will be marked and recorded. It’s the heart of redlining your document.

Step 4: Make your edits

Begin editing your document as you normally would.

As you type, delete, and move text around, you’ll notice that your changes are highlighted. These marks are the redlines, indicating where edits have been made.

Step 5: Review changes

Once finished, or when reviewing edits made by others, use the “Previous” and “Next” buttons in the “Changes” section to navigate through the marked edits.

This navigation will help you focus on each change individually, making it easier to accept or reject specific edits throughout the document.


TransparencyRedlining offers a clear visual representation of all changes made to a document. This openness ensures that nothing slips through the cracks during the editing process.
Collaboration EfficiencyThe feature streamlines the collaboration process by allowing multiple users to edit a document while tracking each person’s contributions.
Document IntegrityBy tracking changes, the original content is preserved, allowing for easy comparison between different versions of the document.


Overwhelming VisualsFor heavily edited documents, the abundance of redlines can become visually overwhelming and hard to navigate.
Learning CurveNew users may find the Track Changes feature complicated, requiring a learning period to use it effectively.
Potential for ErrorIf the feature is not used correctly, it can lead to confusion and errors in the document editing and review process.

Additional Information

When redlining a document, it’s important to understand the additional options available to you. For instance, you can customize how the changes are displayed—whether inline or in the margins, and in what color. You can also decide to hide certain types of changes if you’re only interested in specific edits.

Another valuable tip is to use the “Comments” feature in tandem with Track Changes. Comments allow you to leave notes and feedback without altering the text, which can be incredibly useful for providing context to your edits or asking questions to other collaborators.

Lastly, always remember to save your document frequently while editing. You wouldn’t want to lose any of your hard work due to an unexpected computer hiccup, would you?


  1. Open your document
  2. Click on the “Review” tab
  3. Click on “Track Changes”
  4. Make your edits
  5. Review changes

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reject changes after they’ve been made?

Yes, you have the option to accept or reject any changes made during the redlining process.

How do I stop tracking changes?

To stop tracking changes, simply click on the “Track Changes” button again, and it will turn off the feature.

Can I redline a document if someone else is also editing it?

Absolutely! Redlining is designed for collaborative work. Just make sure everyone is on the same page about tracking changes.

Is there a way to see who made specific edits?

Yes, each edit is tagged with the name of the person who made it, as long as they are logged into their Microsoft account.

Can I print a document with all the redlines visible?

You sure can! When printing, ensure that you’ve selected the option to print “All Markup” to show all the tracked changes.


Redlining a document in Microsoft Word is a skill that’s becoming indispensable in our collaborative world. Whether you’re a student working on a group project, a professional fine-tuning a report, or an author revising your manuscript, knowing how to effectively track changes is crucial. It not only aids in transparency and efficiency but also ensures the integrity of your document remains intact throughout the editing process.

So, take the plunge and start redlining today. Play around with the feature, customize it to fit your needs, and watch as your collaborative efforts become smoother and more productive. Happy editing!