Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Using Revision Tracking.

Using Revision Tracking

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 19, 2014)

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 choosing Track Changes from the Tools menu. 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 (2868) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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

Defining a Name

One of the great features of Excel is that it allows you to use named ranges. These can make your formulas much easier to ...

Discover More

Changing Cell Alignment

Individual cells in a table can be aligned any way you desire. As pointed out here, just select the cell and apply the ...

Discover More

Jumping to the Ends of Table Rows

Need to jump from one end of a table row to another? Word provides a couple of handy shortcuts that can make this type of ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Watching Cell Values

Want to know what is happening in certain cells in your worksheet? Using the Watch Window is a great way to keep an eye ...

Discover More

Using List Box Controls

List boxes can be a great tool for getting input from users of your worksheets. This tip describes what list boxes are ...

Discover More

Hiding Outline Symbols

Outline symbols are automatically displayed by Excel when you add subtotals or organize your data using an outline. If ...

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 seven more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.