Many Visio 2010 users are unaware that they can track markup changes in Microsoft Visio in a way that is very similar to tracking changes in other Office programs, although it lacks the sophisticated features of the Track Changes feature in Word.
Why would you want to track markup changes?
Well, a typical scenario would be where a group of people are collaborating on a single project that needs to use Visio drawings. The team leader, or project manager, could invite other members of the project team to make edits to the Visio drawings.
With Track Markup turned on, when modifications are made, he or she would be able to accept or reject these changes until such time as the diagram was considered complete. At that stage, the project manager could decide that no more editing was required and that the document should be marked as final to discourage any other alterations by turning off the Track Markup feature and protecting the drawing.
It is easy to track markup and review changes using the Reviewing task pane and the Reviewing toolbar. Visio gives each reviewer separate colour overlay so that they can add comments, shapes, or use Free Hand mark up to a Visio diagram. When the Track Markup feature is switched on, a separate layer is created for each contributor and these are quite distinct from the original drawing.
Each overlay sheet is identified by a coloured border and tab which Visio inserts along the right edge of the drawing window, and any shapes, ink shapes, or comments that are added either by you or one of your project reviewers are then tracked without the original being changed. Since these layers are transparent all of the changes can be seen at once.
[br]Saving a Track Markup Drawing
When the drawing is saved in a central location and reopened by another user with permission to access it, if Track Markup is active an overlay layer is created for them and a colour assigned to them. If you want to see if the Track Markup feature is active when you open a drawing on a shared drive, open the Reviewing task pane from the Reviewing tab of the Ribbon and look out for the Current Reviewer text near the top. If it is there then the original drawing has been protected and changes in markup can be tracked. If it is not visible, tracking has been turned off and any changes will be made to the original drawing instead of an overlay.
Track Markup – Showing and Hiding Markup
To show or hide markup changes in a Visio 2010 drawing when Track Markup is switched on, you must first open the Reviewing task pane from the Review ribbon. In the Reviewing Task Pane you should be able to see all the reviewers’ names under Show Markup Overlays at the bottom of the task pane. If there are no names visible, on the Review tab, click Show Markup, and then click Show All to see all the reviewers’ names.
If you don’t want to see the Track Markup information you can hide the overlays. To hide markup overlays for all reviewers, click Hide All on the task pane or to show or hide overlays for individual reviewers, check or clear the check box next to the reviewer’s name.
When the Track Markup feature is active, your own coloured overlay layer can’t be hidden.