Hide formatting and other tracked changes selectively in Word

When you're reviewing a document with tracked changes (or editing a document yourself), do you ever get distracted by all of the formatting notes?

Formatting change details

There's an easy way to turn them off and leave all of the other tracked changes visible, and it works in both Word 2007 and Word 2010. Just go to the Review tab, click Show Markup and uncheck Formatting:

Show Markup selections

Likewise, you can hide Comments, Ink, Insertions, and Deletions or remove the Markup Area Highlight shading behind where comments and other change notes appear. You can also hide notes from a specific reviewer, though the changes they made will remain unless you reject them.


Comments (13)
  1. OldGrantonian says:

    I have Word 2007, which looks exactly like your screen shots.

    When I untick "Formatting", the wide margin at the right disappears. That's fine.

    However, the change is not persistent. After a few minutes, the wide margin re-appears.

    Saving the document after unchecking "Formatting" does not help.

  2. Gerry says:

    In prior versions of Word (eg, 2003), you could set up a button to toggle between show/hide markup.  I can't find a way to do this in 2010 with a single button click.  What am I missing–or did MSFT drop the ball.  We use this button all the time.

  3. Jon says:

    Thanks for the tip.

    But is there a way to turn some of these markup items, e.g. formatting, permanently? I never want to review formatting changes but I'm finding that everytime I open a document with markup I have to uncheck formatting each time. Word deliberatly forgets my preference.

  4. GP says:

    Is there a way to persist these changes?  When I turn off Formatting in this list it reappears whenever I turn tracked changes off and back on again…

  5. Michelle says:

    Thank you! I have been trying to work out how to do this for so long. Although now I feel silly since it was so easy, but that's the way it is for most things in Word!

  6. Hong Sim says:

    Suzanne's solution is good for only that session.  Even if I save the marked up file as a final version the markup side section will reappear!

    SOLUTION: Right click the "Formatted: : . . . . ." then click "reject format change", Voila!

  7. Bryce says:

    Is there a way to make this sticky/permanent?  Its annoying to have to constantly go through the menus to re-hide the formatting notes every time a document is opened.  Would be nice to be able to hide it and have it stay hidden for the duration that Office 2007 is running.

  8. Marion says:

    Is there a way to make this action 'sticky'? I rarely want to see formatting because it messes up the RH border of the display so that it is no longer WYSIWYG. But every time I toggle from Final to Final Show Markup, or turn tracking on, the formatting balloons reappear.

  9. Kristin says:

    THANK YOU!  This is super helpful and even Microsoft's support site didn't have this solution!!

  10. Mark says:

    So… I gather there's no way to 'permanently' uncheck that 'formatting' option in the 'Show Markup' list?  I agree with the consensus: It's tedious to have that right-hand gutter as an unavoidable default that I frequently have to uncheck.

  11. Zaphed says:

    This works when viewing on the screen, however even if I uncheck "formatting" when I go to print the document, all the formatting seems to turn itself back on and it all prints, even though it does not show up in print preview.  This seems like a bug…

  12. nick says:

    If you do not want "formatting" changes (or any other category of changes, e.g., comments, footers/headers, etc.) to appear in your comparison, you can exclude the category from the comparison altogether by clicking "More" in the comparison dialogue box and uncheck  "Formatting."

  13. nick says:

    If you do want "Formatting" changes (or any other tracking category) to show up in the right margin, you can exclude "Formatting" from the comparison/redline altogether by clicking "More" in the "Compare" dialogue box and unchecking "Formatting."  

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content