How to Copy Tracked Changes in Word 2010 and Paste into Outlook 2010 Email

Applies to Word 2010 and Outlook 2010

This method allows you to copy tracked changes in a Word document and paste into an email message in Outlook 2010, and retain the marked up text.  Previous methods of doing this in Office 2003 do not work in Office 2010 (the old Ctrl+F3 and Ctrl+Shift+F3 in 2003).

 First you must turn on the Developer Ribbon:

  1. In Word 2010, select the File tab, and then choose Options.
  2. Select Customize Ribbon.
  3. Then check the box next to Developer.
  4. Click OK.

Select and Group Text

  1. Select the text you wish to copy.
  2. Turn off Track Changes (Review / Track Changes button)
  3. Select the Developer tab
  4. Click the Group button, then select Group.
  5. Copy the text.
  6. Paste the text into your email message.
    Tip: Click Paste Options button to adjust formatting as needed.

Note:  you will not be able to control Track Changes from within your email.

39 thoughts on “How to Copy Tracked Changes in Word 2010 and Paste into Outlook 2010 Email

    1. Thank you, MS, for pointing that out! My mistake, I will correct the instructions. The button to select is the GROUP button, not GROUP TEXT.

  1. Don’t know how you managed to figure that procedure out, but thanks for sharing. I missed not being able to paste in tracked Word changes to an Outlook message as I could previously do with 2007.

    Maybe advise that in your Word document, the “grouped” text remains locked until it’s ungrouped: if you don’t ungroup it, you can’t then accept or reject the tracked changes within that block of text.

    1. Hi Cindy, My best guess as to why your “Group” button is unavailable is because you don’t have any text selected (see step 1 under “Select and Group Text”). Hope this helps! -MG

  2. Tip continued: to accept/ reject the track changes after having pasted the text, mark the newly pasted text again and follow the instructions above except for “group” chose “ungroup”.

    1. Sorry that this is not working for you. Check to be sure that Track Changes is turned off before grouping and copying your content. Also, the email you are pasting into must be in either HTML or Rich Text format, it will not work in Plain Text format. Good luck!

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  4. Please, if someone could assist, when I paste the grouped text into an email, a popup displays saying, “Some changes could not be accepted/rejected because they are contained in controls which are locked for editing.” and strikeout & underline appear fine, but all shows as red when I have it to where “addition” of text shows in blue, in Word… that color isn’t carried over to the copy in the email (strange). I imagine the popup *might* be related to the blue color not transferring. Lastly, THANK YOU for this method, your write-up was very useful!

    1. Hi Zach,
      The pop-up dialog is expected, it is just warning reminding you that you cannot accept/reject markup in an email (this can only be done in Word). As for the colors, there will only be one color (mine is blue), but you will be able to identify deleted text (strikethrough) and added text (underlined). Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out a way to carry over Word’s Track Changes colors into an email. I hope this helps!

  5. Ok, cool cool… I really appreciate your answer, it clarifies the popup. IF I happen to stumble upon an answer in regards to the colors, I will post back. Thanks again!

  6. Just tried this and it does not work for me. I amde sure the tracked changes were off and when I paste into Outlook the text shows the changes as accepted.

    1. Hi Tee,
      I’m sorry that this is not working for you. I’ve found that the key to getting this to work successfully is to be sure to group the text (from Developer ribbon) before copying. Also, this will only work in Word 2010 and Outlook 2010.

  7. I had the same issue with group ‘greyed’ out. I re-saved my document as a word doc (it was saved as word 97-2003 document) and mgconsulting your tip worked perfectly after that.

  8. Everything went beautifully… except that it will not allow me to make modifications to the document. Whenever I tried, it says “The modification is not allowed because the selection is locked.” Huh??

    1. Thank you for your question, Mari. This method assumes that you have already made your track changes BEFORE you group the text. Word will not allow edits to the grouped text. We group the text so that we can lock in the track changes and be able to copy/paste it into an email. You should select the text again and Ungroup from the Developer ribbon when you want to make further changes. Hope this helps!

  9. Hi
    Just tried this and it does not work for me. I a using Microsoft 2010 and Outlook 2010. I followed the instruction 4 times to make sure. I get the message “some changes could not be accepted/rejected because they are contained in controls which are locked for editing”. When I clicked on Ok it either get pasted without any track changes or all changes appear in red not blue underlined for addition and red strikethrough for deletion
    Thank you

  10. Hi
    Read through all the comments, or thought I did and did not see the question from Zach and answer from MG until after I posted my comment. Please ignore.
    Great webpage, by the way

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