Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Using Revision Tracking.

Using Revision Tracking

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 27, 2013)

4

If you are a Microsoft Word user, you may already be familiar with what is meant by the term revision tracking. If not, then you are in for a treat. In a nutshell, Excel allows you to keep track of the changes made to your workbook. Thus, you can see what has been added, deleted, or simply changed.

Revision tracking is normally meant for use in a shared environment, so you can track how other people may have changed a workbook for which you are responsible. However, it can also be a valuable tool even if you are the only one using a workbook. It can be used so you can see your own changes over time.

Revision marking is turned on or off on a per-workbook basis. Thus, if you have two workbooks open at the same time, revision marking can be turned on in either, both, or none of the workbooks. You control revision marking by displaying the Review tab of the ribbon and clicking the Track Changes tool. This displays a submenu from which you should choose Highlight Changes. Excel displays the Highlight Changes dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Highlight Changes dialog box.

To turn on revision marking, simply select the check box at the top of the dialog box. If you later want to turn off revision marking, you can display this dialog box again and clear the check box.

With revision marking turned on, you can specify how you want this tool to be used by Excel. The three check boxes in the middle of the dialog box allow you to specify which changes should be highlighted, and the check boxes at the bottom of the dialog box indicate how the highlights appear. The center check boxes (When, Who, and Where) have more to do with resolving revisions, as discussed in a later tip.

At the least, you will want to make sure that the Highlight Changes On Screen check box is selected. This causes your workbook edits to be visible.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8150) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using Revision Tracking.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is nine minus 5?

2016-02-04 22:47:53

Michael Park

It appears that you cannot do this if you use Tables (unless you convert all the Tables to ranges first).
Same thing with named Views


2013-09-18 04:39:12

Mckenzie Simmons

reading what you have written really me realise that technology is really important it will be great if you reply to me.....


2013-04-27 12:03:36

Jerry

This is one of the methods for making a file "shared", which does limit a lot of Excel features, mainly those on the Insert and Data tabs.

In addition, the default is to keep only the last 30 days of change history. To expand that number, on the Review tab select Share Workbook. The "Keep change history for" option is on the Advanced tab of the dialog box.


2013-04-27 11:10:44

Robert

I am curious to know if checking the box that says this also shares the workbook causes the limitations of sharing such as inserting rows are turned on.


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