How to get rid of Word’s proofreading marks

Among the most annoying features of Microsoft Word’s Track Changes program is that every time you reopen a file, the corrections show up. To not see the corrections, you have to toggle the “Display for Review” setting to “No Markup.”

This is a default setting because Microsoft says it doesn’t want you to share with others an edited document in which you haven’t approved the corrections. That approach may be fine for micromanagers and control freaks in the corporate world, but for the rest of us, most of the time it’s just plain annoying.

The easy solution to the problem, Microsoft says is to approve or disapprove of each correction. But if you receive a manuscript back from an editor with several hundred proofreading corrections, that’s a time-consuming task that you probably consider unnecessary.

Fortunately, you can change the default setting so those pesky proofreading corrections don’t show up every time you open a file. Rather than have the default setting open your Word file in “All Markup” mode and instead have it open in “No Markup” mode, do this:
• Open your document
• Click “File”
• Click “Options” (in Word 2010, it appears at the bottom of the page’s left side); a new window will pop-up
• Click “Trust Center” in the new window’s left menu; this changes the options in the right pane
• Click in the right pane “Trust Center Settings”; this in turn opens another window
• Click in the new window’s left pane “Privacy Options”
• Uncheck “Make hidden markup visible when opening or saving” in the new window’s right pane
• Click “OK” on both open windows

Test your document by closing and then reopening it. No proofreading marks should show. If you do want to see them, simply change the Track Changes setting to “All Markup” and then under the “Show Markup” dropdown menu, check the types of corrections you wish to see.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.