Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 September 22, 2018)

1

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, 2013, and 2016. 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Merging to Individual Files

The mail-merge feature in Word is a fast, easy way to create form letters addressed to many different people. Sometimes, ...

Discover More

Iterating Circular References

Does your data require that you perform calculations using circular references? If so, then you'll want to be aware of ...

Discover More

Pulling AutoShape Text from a Worksheet Cell

AutoShapes can easily contain text—just click on the shape and start typing away. You may want the text in the ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Inserting a Sound File in Your Worksheet

Some worksheets are better understood through the spoken word or with musical accompaniment. Sound files can be easily ...

Discover More

Tracing Dependent Cells

Cells that use the information in a particular cell are called dependent cells. Excel provides auditing tools that allow ...

Discover More

Converting Imported Information to Numeric Values

If the information you import into Excel is treated as text by the program, you may want to convert it to numeric values. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 3?

2018-10-17 07:59:18

Annamaria Katona

Hi,
is there any other way of doing the tracking?
I do use this possibility, however there are lots of things one cannot do in shared workbook, like changing conditional format, freeze, unfreeze, add new sheets - especially this last feature I need in some of my workbooks.
However I would need need also to be able to track the changes I make (if for example I change a value I have introduced previously).
Is there other ways of doing that in Excel?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.