Excel is an incredibly powerful tool that many people use every day. It’s easy to use and comes with a lot of features that can help you manage your data and collaborate with others. One such feature is tracking changes, which has been around for a long time. In this post, we will discuss how tracking changes relates to sharing a workbook in Excel.
First, it’s important to note that tracking changes is a legacy feature. This means that it’s an old-school feature that doesn’t play nice with the new comment thread. So, before you start using tracking changes, you need to go in and delete all your comments, if you have any. You can easily do that by hitting Ctrl+A to highlight the entire sheet and then on the review tab, you would hit delete comments.
So, why would you use tracking changes if it’s an old feature? Well, because if you share something to OneDrive, OneDrive will take care of versioning, but it won’t take care of showing you the itemized changes that were made within the spreadsheet. It’ll say something like “Carlos Perez changed or modified this document on this date at this time,” but it’s not going to tell you that “Hey, Carlos changed the value in cell A6 to this,” or “you know what have you.” In order to see that, you have to turn on change tracking.
To turn on change tracking, you have to enable it in the quick access toolbar. You can do this by going to More Commands and then All Commands. If you take a look at the T’s, you’re going to see “Track Changes Legacy” sitting right there. You can add that in, and once it’s in the toolbar, you can click on it and hit “Highlight Changes.” This is going to look exactly the same as what you would have done in the past. Of course, you could also add this into a custom grouping in the ribbon if you wanted to do so. It’s recommended to make a group called “Legacy Commands” and putting all those into that group if that’s something that you wanted to do.
Once you have enabled change tracking, you can start using it to track changes while editing. You can track all changes and highlight them on the screen. This is going to share the workbook. Now, changes are being tracked, so if you start making changes in different places, it’s going to go ahead and highlight them, showing you that the change was made. If you hover your mouse over that cell, it is going to tell you what that change happens to be. This way, you can have an itemized list of changes throughout the spreadsheet and be able to see exactly what’s going on.
When you couple change tracking together with versioning, you have a very powerful tool. You can easily manage your data and collaborate with others, knowing exactly what changes were made, when they were made, and by whom. With these features, Excel becomes an even more powerful tool for managing and sharing your data.