How To Enable Revision Edit Tracking In Apple Pages?

I’m a professional copyeditor and spend a lot of time marking up documents for clients. I’ve historically used Microsoft Word, but I’d like to migrate to Apple’s Pages program since it’s becoming more popular in the field. I know Pages supports revision markup tracking, but how do I enable it for a specific document?

Dave’s Answer:

Glad to hear you’re seeing a migration of people from the expensive Microsoft Word to the far more accessible — and mobile-friendly — Pages program from Apple. In my experience, it’s about 95% the same functionality with a more elegant interface. An interface that’s so elegant, in fact, that sometimes it’s too darn slick and can be a bit hard to figure out! 🙂

No worries, I recently went through the track changes featureset in Pages on my Mac OS X MacBook Pro and grabbed a few screen captures as I went, to better illustrate this article.

Before I jump in, though, don’t forget that you can always try the help system included in Pages and just about every other program available from Apple. They’re surprisingly helpful and comprehensive: a search for “track” offers “Track Changes” as the very first option! Yes, that’s an RTFM moment.

But I’l ljust show you since we’re here anyway…

Open up your document in Apple Pages, then look on the Edit menu for “Track Changes”:


Once you do, a new ribbon opens up — um, I mean “toolbar” — at the top of the document that offers easy access to all the change tracking features:


Most importantly, notice that you can pause change tracking if you have a ton of edits or are just adding some comments to the client or similar. I know from experience that if I’m doing a major rewrite of a paragraph, the red can be depressing, so just saying “here’s my rewrite” and skipping the character-by-character tracking can be a big boon.

By default it doesn’t show tracking bubbles, so changes look like this in the document:


Put the cursor over an edit for a second or two and a little tooltip window pops up with change tracking info:


Let’s go ahead and enable tracking bubbles, though, because that’s how I like to review someone else’s edits (though it’s a bit annoying when you’re making the edits yourself):


With that enabled, here’s what I now see along the left margin of the document:


Notice that for each of these edits you (or anyone else working with the document) can accept or reject the change by clicking on the checkmark or ‘x’. Not sure where the edit occurs? Click on the “>” button to find out.

Glance back at the new track changes toolbar and you’ll see it also has accept and reject buttons, along with up and down arrows to make it quick and easy to review changes if they’re farther apart than in my example. The little “>>” button the very left offers a bunch of useful options too. Click on it to learn more.

Hope that’ll get you and your clients going with the change tracking feature of Apple Pages.

Categorized as Mac

By Dave Taylor

Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is internationally known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a strategic marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs.