Microsoft on kinder, gentler revision features in Word 2013

Microsoft has been offering information about all of the new features and improvements it has added to Word 2013, the latest entry in its word processing software series. In a new blog post, the company talks about its plans to improve how Word 213 users comment and revise documents.

In a post on the official Word blog, Microsoft says that the familiar comments and revisions layouts of past Word versions have been cleaned up a bit. Gone are all those rather harsh red lines that have caused many a writer to be fearful of seeing a Word document that's been edited by another person, such as the example below.

In their place is a new layout which Microsoft calls "Simple Markup." It states:

In this view, we keep the document clean, make it clear where tracked changes and comments are, and give you the ability to easily review the tracked changes and comments as you’d like to. Want to see the tracked changes? Click on the red bar to the left of the text. Want to see the full comment? Click it or hover over it.


World 2013 also allows its users to switch to "All Markup" mode in order to see all of the tracked changes and comments in a Word document. When you move to that mode, the shades of color used to track changes have been altered and they definitely have a softer look than in previous versions of Word. Microsoft adds, "Additionally, we use color more sparingly within comments to give your documents a cleaner feel even if you are showing All Comments, and make the comment you are working with stand out more."

When a person makes a comment in a Word 2013 document, it also brings up his or her Person Card, which enables anyone reading the document to email, IM, phone, or video chat with that person if they have a Microsoft Account.

Users can also reply to comments in Word 2013 and they can also minimize comments and their replies by marking them as done.

Source: Official Microsoft Word blog | Image via Microsoft

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this is great, I am using this often as a research scientist writing papers and until now tracking changes and comments with up to three or four authors in the process was always a huge mess. much better from what I see above. looking forward to it.

The thing that I found messiest about Track Changes is that it picked up formatting changes so easily. It did a lot better with text -- it could usually pick out a relatively parsimonious set of changes.

Not sure if it's because they were actual changes that were invisible to the user (e.g., a space that was formatted differently from the words it separates), or if they just didn't have the logic to properly coalesce neighboring changes.

Oh goodie! Now EVERYONE in the corporate "suit" world can be important. When sending out a memo, everyone can mark it up and have their picture tagging along LOL.

naap51stang said,
Oh goodie! Now EVERYONE in the corporate "suit" world can be important. When sending out a memo, everyone can mark it up and have their picture tagging along LOL.

Uh, it's no different than the contact cards in Outlook. This essentially ties document edits to, say, your corporate contact list, which is actually a really nice little feature.

Not...sure...why you're so put off by it. Just anti-business in general?

/works for a company that collaborates on documents, uses Outlook address books, and doesn't enforce formal attire
//gets weirded out by guys like you that seem to have a deeply held grudge against businesses
///probably all those 80s movies about executives
////does this mean you TRUST hollywood?
/////at all?
//////particularly, more than any other business that uses MS Office?
\that's weird.