Excel provides a change tracking tool that makes it easier for groups of people to work together. Change tracking makes sure that the changes made by different people are carefully logged, giving you the power to inspect each person’s changes individually and reverse them if you choose. It’s a little like keeping several versions of the same worksheet in a single spreadsheet file.
Switching On Change Tracking
To turn on change tracking, follow these steps:
1. Select Review➝Track Changes➝Highlight Changes.
The Highlight Changes dialog box appears.
2. Turn on the “Track changes while editing” checkbox.
When you turn on change tracking, you also automatically switch on workbook sharing a separate feature, which will be discussed in some other post. As there’s no way to turn on change tracking without also turning on workbook sharing.
3. Ignore the Who, When, and Where checkboxes for now, and click OK to return to your worksheet.
To see how change tracking works, just enter text in a new cell or edit an existing cell. Excel uses several visual indicators to show that a cell has been changed. Most obviously, it draws a blue outline around the cell and adds a small blue triangle to the cell’s top-right corner. Additionally, Excel changes the column headers at the top of your sheet to use red text if that column or row contains changed data. To get the specifics about the change, you can hover over the cell with your mouse. When you do, a yellow box appears that looks just like a comment box.
Excel doesn’t track every possible change. In fact, it ignores the following changes:
• Formatting changes (like when you change the font or background color of a cell)
• Hiding or unhiding rows or columns.
• Adding, changing, or deleting comments.
• Inserting or deleting worksheets.
Changes don’t remain in the change history log forever. In fact, once 30 days have
passed since a change was made, Excel discards it from the log.
You can also clear changes from the change history log —by turning off change
tracking altogether. Just choose Review➝Track Changes➝Highlight
Changes to show the Highlight Changes dialog box, and turn off the checkmark in
the “Track changes while editing” checkbox. You can turn change tracking back on
later, but you can’t recover the information about the changes you made earlier.
To highlight the changes made to a document, go to Review➝Track
What you do next depends on the types of changes you want to see. Here are some
of your choices:
Show all changes
Show recent changes
Show changes in a specific date
Show changes that haven’t been reviewed
Show changes made by a specific person
Show changes made in specific cells
This article showed you on how to enable change tracking and view changes, in the upcoming articles i will be talking about accepting rejecting these changes and merging the changes made by many authors on a workbook while it was shared with them.