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Read Between the Redlines | How to Hide Formatting in MS Word Track Changes

Redlining can be frustrating when you’re not sure how to use MS Word’s Track Changes features. My name is Nada Alnajafi. I’m a seasoned in-house attorney who loves working with contracts and talking about redlines. Pretty nerdy, right? 📄🤓

Well I’m here to share some redlining tips, tricks, and workarounds with you so that you can stop getting distracted by redlining frustrations and start getting more focused on the heart of the negotiation!

Know someone who’d be interested in learning these redlining tips? Forward them this newsletter so they can subscribe too! ⏭

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Let’s begin with formatting changes.

Ah yes, formatting. The bane of many contracts professionals’ existence.

Underlines. Bolds. Italics. Spacing. Indentations. And the list goes on…

Pages that are already filled with redlines and comments in the margins don’t always need to be filled with flags describing words that were underlined.

Sure, it’s nice that MS Word Track Changes allows us the ability to track formatting changes. We just don’t want to see them all the time. 

So how can we still keep track of Formatting changes in the background without seeing them in our main view? Here’s how to Hide Formatting Changes using MS Word Track Changes.

⚙ Steps

1. Go to the Show Markup menu and click on the drop down arrow.

2. Check “Comments.”

3. Check “Insertions and Deletions.”

4. Uncheck “Formatting.”

How to Hide Formatting Changes in MS Word Track Changes.

📌 Redlining Tip

As contracts professionals, we deserve an opportunity to review and respond to all changes made to a contract by another party. That’s why it is important to keep track of Formatting changes. Plus, some of them may impact the meaning or interpretation of a clause. Others may impact the way the contract is organized. Keep track of Formatting changes and hide them when they start to bug you. But don’t ever stop tracking them.


If you’re interested in learning more about redlining best practices and contracts in general, check out my newest book Contract Redlining Etiquette and subscribe to the Contract Nerds blog. It’s safe to say that I’m a total #contractnerd! Are you?

Nada Alnajafi is the Founder of Contract Nerds, Author of Contract Redlining Etiquette, and a seasoned in-house attorney. She is a contracts expert with 15+ years working in-house counsel for companies of all sizes and across various industries.

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