How to copy Track Changes and Comments markup from MS Word to Outlook

Microsoft Word’s Track Changes and Comments options are the type of features you may not need on a daily basis (unless you’re a professional proofreader), but when you do, you thank God they’re there. Personally, I can’t imagine working on documents and discussing revisions without them. That’s why I used to find it a bit frustrating that you can’t just ctrl+c, ctrl+v the revision markup from Word to Outlook. Luckily, it turns out there is a simple way to copy text along with the markup.

Assuming your document already contains revisions, follow these steps:

1. Enable the Developer tab on your Word ribbon. To do this go to File, Options, Customize Ribbon, check the Developer box:

Enabling the Developer tab on Microsoft Word ribbon

…and OK your way back to the document.

2. In the Review tab Switch off the Track Changes option.

3. Highlight the segment of text you want to copy to Outlook.

4. In the Developer tab, click Group, Group:

The 'Group' tool available in the Office 'Developer' ribbon

5. Copy the highlighted text, e.g. by right-clicking it and selecting Copy.

6. Paste the copied text into an HTML Outlook message (if a notification window pops up, click OK). The result should include revisions like in the picture below:

Text including Track Changes markup and Comments, pasted into an Outlook message

To see the comments, the recipient will have to glide over the comment markup (red square) with the cursor:

Text including Track Changes markup and Comments, as viewed by the recipient

Easy, right?

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32 thoughts on “How to copy Track Changes and Comments markup from MS Word to Outlook

  1. for some reason this is not working for me. I’ve followed all the steps closely but when I paste into outlook email it only shows the text with all changes accepted and no track changes visible… any ideas?

    • Make sure to switch off the Track Changes option in the MS Word’s Review tab before copying your text.

  2. Hi there. I can’t seem to get this to work for me. I have MS Office Home and Business 2019/ Word Version 2107. When I go to Developer, the “Group” tab is greyed out. Even after making sure that the Tracking is turned off, and selecting the text, it does not activate. So I can’t select “Group” and proceed with the steps. What am I missing?

    • The Group button is always greyed out when the text is not highlighted. Since you’ve made sure that you’ve selected the fragment you want to copy, I’ve seen threads which blame the problem on either Word working in compatibility mode or in publishing layout. See if the solution from this thread fixes the issue.

  3. I have used this process/method in the past and it used to show the comments as bubble next to the text in Outlook – the same way it does in Word. Wonder why this has changed as many ppl wouldn’t know to hover curses to see the comments. Is there anyway to change this back to how it used to be?

    • I don’t think there is a way to change the display option. Except from switching to an older version of Office suite.

  4. Thanks for the tip. This has worked for me and was helpful.

    However, I am still facing in issue when I try to paste the tracked changes text as a picture it appears without the changes (even after following all the steps above). Is there a way around this also?


    • As far as I know, there’s nothing you can do about how “paste text as a picture” works. However, if you want to paste a picture which includes the revision info, you can easily do this with a Screenshot or Snipping Tool and paste this image into email.

  5. update your instructions to fix the typo that says

    2. In the Review tab Switch of the Track Changes option.

    It should say off.

  6. Hi

    I am facing a peculiar issue. While the process worked for me (Thanks for the help), only deletions is appearing in track changes . Additions are coming as accepted changes in outlook. Please help.
    I did not see the resolution on this. I am currently facgin this issue only and its damn irritating

    • Hi Neeraj,
      I could not reproduce the bug you have run into. Please make sure you have not ommited any of the steps mentioned in the article. Also check if the problem persists if you choose other paste options, like “keep source formatting”, or “merge formatting”.

  7. A tip: After grouping the section required for copy/paste to another place – rest the grouping by Ctrl-Z the way before the grouping was done- otherwise it will mess up the editing functions.

  8. Hi

    I am facing a peculiar issue. While the process worked for me (Thanks for the help), only deletions is appearing in track changes . Additions are coming as accepted changes in outlook. Please help.

  9. Ugh. So now Remove Content Control did work. I’m not sure what I did differently this time. But the point is, watch out for this issue.

  10. Wait. That didn’t work. How do you “unlock” the text that was cut & pasted. I’ve gone back and un-selected Developer in Options, but that text is now extremely limited for editing. Help!

  11. It worked for Office 2010. But there something to beware of!l

    Doing this makes the copied text immune from other edits in Word. Suddenly other Word features are grayed out as not available.

    I just now figured out that you must re-select the text and right-click on Remove Content Control, to return back to normal editing.

    • Hi Bill,

      I’ve just tested it and can confirm that it works on Office Pro Plus 2016. Are you following the article to the letter? Also, do you paste the content into Excel?

      – Adam

  12. Superb, works for Word 2007-Outlook 2007 very nicely.

    Also works from Outlook 2007-Gmail in case that’s an option you need.

    Many thanks



    • Hi Marilyn, Before clicking Group, did you highlight the segment of text that you wanted to copy?

  14. This did not work for me. The text that gets copied from Word 2013 to Outlook 2013 still doesn’t include the comments or tracked changes. Are there any other settings that must be changed in order for this to work properly?

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