How to Allow Multiple Users to Edit a Word Document at the Same Time

By Joseph Horst

By using the "Track Changes" and "Combine" options in Microsoft Word 2007, an author of a Microsoft Word document can send it to multiple people at the same time for suggestions or edits. After the other people make their suggestions and send the revised document back, the author can then merge all of the changes conveniently into one document. The author can also see which editor made specific comments or changes, as each individual's changes appear in a different color on the document.

Track Changes

Step 1

Click the "Review" tab on the top toolbar.

Step 2

Click "Final Showing Markup" so that the document shows your edits.

Step 3

Click "Track Changes" in the Tracking section.

Step 4

Make changes, including deletions and insertions, in the document.

Step 5

Click "Balloons" in the Tracking section and choose "Show Revisions in Balloons" if you want changes to be shown in balloons on the right side of the text. Alternatively, choose "Show All Revisions Inline" from the "Balloons" button if you want changes to be shown in the regular text.

Combine Documents

Step 1

Click the "Review" tab on the top toolbar.

Step 2

Click "Compare" and then "Combine."

Step 3

Click the "Folder" icon under "Original Document" and locate your original document.

Step 4

Click the "Folder" icon under "Revised Document" and locate the revised document sent by an editor.

Step 5

Select "New Document" under the "Show Changes In" section.

Step 6

Click "OK."

Step 7

Accept or reject the editor's changes and save the document under a new name.

Step 8

Repeat Steps 1 through 7 to combine changes in another editor's document into the revised document.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can choose what kinds of edits the document will display by selecting options in the "Show Markup" menu.
  • You can customize the appearance of comments and edits by choosing "Change Tracking Options" under the "Track Changes" button.