How many times have you typed something, then changed it, then wanted to change it back because you realized what you wrote before sounded better, but there is only so many times the Undo option will work? Or, how many times have you revised a cover letter in a single document and then wished you had saved copies of them so a friend could look over them and tell you which version was best?

Or maybe you aren’t working on a document for yourself. Maybe you’re editing a document for a friend, and they need to see the changes you’re suggesting.

Basically, whether you’re editing a document for someone, or you’re making revisions to your own, there are times when you need to track the changes you’re making. And the good news is you can.

You can record such changes in OpenOffice Writer through a few simple steps:

First, open the document you want to edit in OpenOffice Writer.

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Next, click on the Edit menu and, about half-way down, you’ll find the Changes option.

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Hovering the mouse over “Changes” will open a sub-menu with one option as “Record”. Click on that Record option.

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Now if you click on Edit → Changes, you’ll find that there is a tick-mark (or check-mark) next to the Record option. This means that whatever changes you make in the document from this point on will be recorded or tracked.

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I’ve made a few changes to this document now. But, as you can see, the changes aren’t shown.

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If you want to see the changes, click on the Edit → Changes menu option again. And this time, click on the Show option.

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The tick-mark next to “Show” means that the changes will be visible now.

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As you can see below, all the changes I made are now visible. Inserted text is underlined, and deleted text is struck through.

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And, if you don’t want to see the changes being tracked while you work on the document, simply click on Edit → Changes → Show again to deselect “Show.”

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Please note: Make sure that the Record option is checked. Otherwise, the changes you make won’t be recorded.

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And that’s all there is to it!

The neat part about editing documents this way is that, even if you share this document to someone via email or a common local network folder, the edits can still be visible to other users. So it’s a great feature to use when multiple people are working on a single document, or even if you’re editing a document for someone else.

~ Veena