Get rid of those red proofreading marks in Word

When editing your manuscript in Microsoft Word 2007, one of the more useful features is the Track Changes mode. This handy tool will allow you to see what changes were made (typically by showing red proofreading marks), view a final copy of the manuscript without all of those red marks, and to even see the original version of the manuscript before any editing at all was done.

Unfortunately, every time you open up a Word file edited in the Track Changes mode, the program has this annoying habit of showing all of those red proofreading marks – even if the last time you viewed the document it was set to be seen in its final form without the editing symbols.

How do you get rid of those annoying proofreading marks? Try this:
• At the top middle of the open Word file, click “Review.”
• A new ribbon should appear across the top of your page. Near the center of this ribbon is the “Track Changes” button. To the right of that is a pull-down menu. If there are red proofreading marks all over your page, this menu probably says “Final Showing Markup”. To get rid of the red proofreading marks on your page, change this pull-down menu to “Final.”
• Conversely, if you want to see the red proofreading marks, the pull-down menu probably is on “Final” and should be changed to “Final Showing Markup”.
• If you want to see your manuscript before any editing changes were made, click on “Original” in this pull-down menu.

If uploading the Microsoft Word file to a self-publishing company’s website so you can have the book printed, sometimes the red proofreading marks will be uploaded, too. To resolve this issue, in the ribbon at the top of the Word file, click “Review.” Look for the “Track Changes” command in the middle of the ribbon. To its right is a drop-down menu named “Show Markup.” On that drop-down menu, uncheck each of the items so that are NO checks. You now have the final, clean copy that should upload fine.


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.