How to Remove the Editing Marks in Word

Editing marks are an extremely useful tool for collaborating with editors. Word’s editing features allow you to see what changes your editor made compared to the original document. This way, your editor or proofreader doesn’t have to remember all the issues they found in the original document or jot down the entire list of comments below your text. Instead, they can work in the document you created.

The proofreading features can also be used for other purposes.

Using the Proofreading Tools

Even if you aren’t collaborating with an editor or proofreader, you can use the editing marks creatively. You can jot down alternative ideas for passages, paragraphs, sentences, or words. Alternatively, you can use the comments as notes about certain passages or sentences which is great for speeches and presentations. Essentially, you can use MS Word’s editing features in a bunch of creative ways.

remove the editing marks in word

Removing Editing Marks

There are two types of editing marks: Track Changes and Comments. They are useful additions to both the writer’s and the editor’s toolboxes. Where tracked changes can either be accepted or rejected, comments can only be deleted (resolved).

Tracked Changes

The best way to describe the Track Changes tool is with an example. Let’s say that you’re working on a writing project with an editor. Once you’ve sent the written project for editing, they can easily suggest changes that you can either accept or reject.

Alternatively, you can use this handy tool when your editor has instructed you to change something in a written project. Then, you’ll send them the edited copy of the original document for them to review and either accept or reject the changes you’ve made.

  1. Activating tracked changes is easy, simply navigate to the Review tab in MS Word and click on the Track Changes button. You can remove editing marks in two ways.

2. Once you’ve received the document version that contains tracked changes, simply find the Accept button in the Review tab. Before you click it, select the particular change you want to accept. Now, click Accept and this will remove the original version and replace it with the new one.

3. Alternatively, you can use the nearby Reject button discard changes and restore the original version of the text. Of course, Word will apply regular formatting to all accepted changes. Rejected changes will simply be deleted from the document.

This way you can keep things organized and tidy, which is very important if you’re working on a single project with someone else.


Comments, on the other hand, work in a completely different way. Although the comments also highlight the selected text, no changes are made to it.

Creating a Comment in Word

  1. When you’ve selected a passage, navigate to the Review tab in Word and click New Comment. This will add a comment to the right of the document. You can write whatever you want here and it won’t influence your main text.

Deleting a Comment in Word

  1. There are two ways to delete a comment. The first one is to use the Delete Comment command, accessible from the Review tab or from the right-click menu. Just make sure that you’ve selected the commented passage first.
  2. Another way to remove a comment is by deleting the commented passage altogether. Just select it and press Backspace or Delete on your keyboard, and the passage, along with the comment, will disappear.

Removing Proofreading Marks

Proofreading marks are often confused for the Track Changes tool, but in order to realize the difference between the two,  you’ll first need to learn the difference between editing and proofreading. Where proofreading is simply the final review of a text, editing is about improving the text. Proofreading generally revolves around grammar and formatting, while editing can involve multiple back-and-forth sessions between the editor and the writer.

Therefore, the Track Changes and Comments options are essential to editors. On the other hand, proofreaders don’t deal with suggestions and comments that much; they give the text a final polish, a task which includes the writer to a lesser extent. It is true, however, that editors often do proofreading, as well.

Proofreading Marks

Proofreading marks include grammar and spelling corrections, as well as suggestions and formatting marks.

  1. To access the grammar and spelling corrections options, navigate to the File tab, click Options, and select Proofing in the window that appears. From here, you can personalize your proofing options, or simply disable them entirely.

You may think that proofreading is only about spelling and grammar, but there’s a less apparent side to this. One of the essential tasks of a proofreader is to ensure proper text and document formatting. To do this, a proofreader can use the formatting marks. When enabled, these clearly show where spaces, hyphens, paragraphs, and other text items have been used.

2. By navigating to File, Options, and then selecting the Display tab in the window that pops up, you can turn off – or on – the following options: tab characters, spaces, paragraph marks, hidden text, optional hyphens, and object anchors. These tools are essential for proofreading tasks.

Removing the Marks

Removing the editing and proofreading marks doesn’t mean just deleting them. You can either accept or reject changes made in Track Changes mode and, for instance, turn the proofreading tools off.

Which of these tools do you use? Have you tried all of them? Feel free to hit the comments section below and tell us how you use Word’s editing tools.

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