Editing in Word 2011 for Mac: Accepting and Rejecting Changes

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

When you’re ready, you can go through the changes and edits that other people made to a shared document in Office 2011 for Mac that Word has tracked and work toward creating a final document.

Keep in mind that although text changes and comments are tracked, not every change made to a document is tracked. For instance, changes made to SmartArt objects aren’t tracked.

As years have passed, Microsoft has attempted to make the ideal interface to accomplish accepting and rejecting changes. Start with balloons because they’re so visible. If you find these balloons hard to read, too crowded, or clumsy to work with, try using one of the other methods, such as using the Reviewing sidebar or the Accept and Review Changes dialog. You can turn the balloons on or off in the Track Changes preferences pane.

The Reviewing pane is an alternative to balloons for viewing changes. The Reviewing pane shows up as a pane to the left of your Word interface. Toggle the Reviewing pane on and off by one of these methods:

  • Choose View→Sidebar→Reviewing Pane.

  • Choose the Sidebar button on the Standard Toolbar, and then choose Reviewing Pane.

  • Click the Review Pane button in the Changes group of the Review tab.

You would normally display either Balloons or the Reviewing pane, unless you have a really big screen.


The Changes group of the Review tab has every control needed to manage tracking changes. The buttons in the Comments group allow you to move from change to change within the document as well as buttons to accept or reject changes.

On each change balloon, you can click either the checkmark to accept a change or the X to reject the change.

When working in the Reviewing pane, right-click a change and choose to accept or reject the change from the pop-up menu.

An alternative to both balloons and the Ribbon’s Review tab is the now-discontinued Accept or Reject Changes dialog. If you really liked it, you can still use it by way of a VBA macro:

Sub OldTrackChangesDialog()
End Sub