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Prepare to switch between editing, viewing, and reviewing in Microsoft Word

Russell Kidson

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Microsoft Word is finally stepping out of the dark ages with an update to make interacting with documents even smoother. Microsoft recently revealed that the update they’re working on would let users switch more easily between viewing, editing, and reviewing a document. If this feature sounds familiar, it’s likely because it’s already been part of the Google Docs workspace for a while. 

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This update first made tech news back in May 2022 when it burst onto the Microsoft beta insider channel for selected users. The feature was made available around the same time for Microsoft Word web users. New information gleaned from the official Microsoft 365 roadmap has now revealed that Microsoft Word users on Windows and macOS will be able to take full advantage of the new feature from July 2022. 

Prepare to switch between editing, viewing, and reviewing in Microsoft Word

As of the update, there will be a new addition to the Microsoft Word ribbon; an Editing button. This button will offer three distinct new options when users click on it. You’ll be able to switch seamlessly between Editing, Reviewing, and Viewing interaction modes. The Editing option will be enabled by default. 

Again, Google Docs users will be staring at their PCs right now thinking ‘Wait, you couldn’t toggle these options before?’ But within the context of Microsoft Word, this new update will lead to far fewer accidental edits and deletions on documents shared between individuals. This means that the entire collaborative space that Microsoft Word offers will be much easier to navigate without the fear of accidentally stepping on someone else’s toes

Just as you can set permissions for separate users in Google Docs, you’ll now be able to do the same in Microsoft Word. Enabling Track Changes will automatically switch the document into Reviewing mode. From here, only people with permission to edit the document will be able to edit it. The rest will only be able to view the document and edit it in their heads. 

More exciting news for Microsoft Word loyalists and laughter fodder for Docs users; Word is finally getting predictive text too! Google Docs has offered predictive typing for a while in the form of Smart Compose, but slow typists on Microsoft Word for macOS will soon be able to access the Editor Text Predictions features, which will expedite the writing process by suggesting as you type. 

MW users will be incredibly excited about these innovations finally making it to Word. Google Docs users, however, may be rolling on the floor. I would be, but I have to work. If you haven’t used the program yet, go ahead and read our Microsoft Word review.

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