Tracking Changes

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Tracking Changes

Tracking Changes

Change tracking allows you to easily see changes that have been made in a workbook, including who made them and when they were made. Change tracking is most commonly used in workbooks that are edited by multiple people. Another common use is to turn change tracking on before giving a workbook to others for their input so you can easily see exactly what each person changed.

Things you should know about tracking changes include:

  1. When you turn change tracking on, your workbook becomes shared, meaning multiple people can edit the workbook at the same time.
  2. Some features are not available in shared workbooks and so are unavailable when change tracking has been turned on. These features include:
    1. Charts
    2. Conditional formats
    3. Data validation
    4. Hyperlinks
    5. Macros
    6. Merged cells
    7. Outlines
    8. Pictures
    9. PivotTable reports
    10. Subtotals
    11. Workbook and worksheet protection
  3. By default, change history is only kept for 30 days, though this can be changed.
  4. When you turn off change tracking, you delete the change tracking history. If you want to keep it, save it to another sheet or file before turning off change tracking.

To track changes in Microsoft Excel:

  1. On the REVIEW tab, in the Changes group, click the Track Changes command:Track Changes Command
  2. Click Highlight Changes:Highlight Changes Command
  3. In the Highlight Changes dialog box:
    1. Check the box to the left of Track changes while editing. This also shares your workbook.
    2. Choose which changes to highlight. The default is to highlight all changes, but you can choose to highlight only those you haven't reviewed, changes made since you last saved, or changes made since a specified date.
    3. Choose whose changes to highlight. You can select everyone, everyone but yourself, or specific people with whom the workbook is shared.
    4. To highlight changes on the screen, check the Highlight changes on screen box.
    5. To see a list of changes on a separate worksheet, check the List changes on a new sheet box. Note that this option is only available after changes have been made.
    6. Click OK:List of Changes

Accepting or Rejecting Changes

To accept or reject changes in Excel:

  1. On the REVIEW tab, in the Changes group, click the Track Changes command:Track Changes Command
  2. Click Accept/Reject Changes:Accept/Reject Changes Command
  3. In the Select Changes to Accept or Reject dialog box, select which changes (based on when they were created, who created them, or specified cells) you want to accept or reject and click OK:Select Changes
  4. In the Accept or Reject Changes dialog box, you can accept or reject individual changes or all changes at once:Accept or Reject Changes Dialog Box
    1. After accepting/rejecting changes, the History sheet goes away. You can show it again by clicking Track Changes > Highlight Changes. Make sure the List changes on a new sheet box is checked and click OK.

Setting Tracking Options

To set tracking options in Excel 2013:

  1. Select the REVIEW tab, and from the Changes group, select Share Workbook. Share Workbook Command
  2. On the Editing tab of the dialog box, check the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time check box. Editing Tab
  3. Select the Advanced tab, and set tracking options and click OK. Advanced Tab

Merging Multiple Workbooks

To merge two workbooks, first you need to add the Compare and Merge Workbooks button to the Quick Access Toolbar, if it is not already there.

To do so, select FILE > Options. Select Quick Access Toolbar. Select All Commands from the Choose Commands from list, and then select Compare and Merge Workbooks and click Add. Click OK.

Merge Workbooks

You can now use the Compare and Merge Workbooks option on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Compare and Merge Workbooks Option