This beginner’s tutorial will guide you through the steps to keep track of changes made in a document, so that it can be sent for the reviewing process, where the reviewer could add his suggestions to the edits by commenting, accepting, or rejecting the changes.
Basically, track changes and the commenting feature are part of LibreOffice Suite’s review mechanism, and currently two of its applications – Writer and Calc fully support it.
These features are used when a document is worked on in a collaborative environment involving multiple authors or writers, where every change made to the document needs to be reviewed by others, and the reviewers make the decision whether the edits are accepted or rejected for the final draft.
How to Record or Track Changes in a Document
To start recording changes in a document, go to Edit > Track Changes > check the Record option in the top menu-bar. You can turn it off by unchecking the same Record option when you’re finished recording changes. You can toggle the Record option on and off to track specific changes in a document.
In the Track Changes menu, you will find several options:
- Record – Tracks each change made in the current document by author and date.
- Show – Shows or hides recorded changes.
- Accept Track Change – Accepts changes made to a document.
- Reject Track Change – Rejects changes made to a document.
- Accept All Tracked Changes – Accepts all changes made to a document.
- Reject All Tracked Changes – Rejects all changes made to a document.
- Comment – Adds a comment to the selected text.
Tip: If you have enabled the Tabbed user interface and can’t see the top menu bar, select the Review tab and click on the Record button.
Note: Although you have access to the Track changes options from the global menu-bar at the top, I highly recommend switching to the Tabbed UI for easier access to the feature. You can change the user interface by going to View > User Interface, selecting Tabbed UI and OK.
When you click on the Record button, it’ll start recording every change made to a document. For example, if you delete a portion of text in a document, the changes will be highlighted in a yellow strikethrough font. Similarly, if you add extra text, the changes will be highlighted with a yellow underlined font.
Show and Hide The changes
When you’re recording edits in a document, by default you’ll see the changes highlighted in real-time as you make them. Sometimes this can be distracting. So to stop showing the highlighting effect, simply navigate to the Review tab and toggle the Show button.
How to Accept or Reject Changes in a Document
Once you finish your editing and send the document to be reviewed, the reviewer will see the changes in the same way you did while recording the changes. The changes made to the document will be shown to him in a highlighted yellow font with either a strike-through or underlined style depending on whether changes are added or deleted.
The reviewer can then right-click on the highlighted text and accept or reject the change.
Any action the reviewer takes on the changes will become a part of the document once saved. In addition to accepting or rejecting the changes, he may also add a comment to a specific area of the document by selecting a portion of text, right-clicking on it, and selecting Insert Comment.
The track changes feature in LibreOffice is simple and works very similarly to MS Office. If you’ve had any prior experience using Microsoft Word, then using Track Changes in LibreOffice Writer will become second nature. I hope you’ve understood the concept, and if you have any issues, please let me know in the comment below.