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To Microsoft Word warriors, this one is likely to elicit a barely-stifled yawn, but to the rest of us, it's a bacon saver. Here's my story:

My colleague, Dan Frakes, submitted to me a very fine review that will appear in a matter of days on As Big Cheese of same, it's my job to edit the work of others. Because Dan's copy is so clean, I had only to nip in to change a word here or there and nix a semicolon for an em-dash (I'm partial to those long dashes, y'see). Unthinking lout that I am, I neglected to switch on Track Changes so Dan could review my editorial remodeling.

Naturally, when I turned the article around, Dan was interested to know exactly what I'd changed. Whoops! No track changes.

Apparently the stars were aligned that day because both Dan and I thought of the same solution at the same time: Word's Compare Documents feature. Although it's a feature I've never used before, it's simplicity itself.

Just open the edited version of the document and then choose Track Changes from Word's Tools menu. From the Track Changes submenu select Compare Documents. In the resulting Choose a File window, navigate to the original document and click Open. In an instant, changes you made within the edited version of the document are tracked.

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