Software

Gather feedback by routing your Word documents

Need to send your Word 2002/2003 document out for review? Just add a routing slip!

You've just completed the documentation for your upcoming training course. Before presenting it, however, you would like to send it out to your colleagues for review. You can use Word 2002/2003's Routing Slip feature to send the document as an e-mail attachment to each reviewer in the order designated by you. Word will then return the document to you with everyone's proposed changes. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to File | Send To | Routing Recipient.
  2. Click Allow.
  3. Select the default text in the Subject box and enter Routing: Training document approval. (You can also enter your own Message text; if not, Word will add text for you.)
  4. Click the Address button.

  1. Click Allow.
  2. Click the name of the first reviewer in your list of addresses.
  3. Click the To button.
  4. Click the name of next reviewer in your list of addresses.
  5. Click the To button.
  6. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for each person on your list.
  7. Click the Add Slip button.

Word saves the routing slip with your document. After adding the routing slip, you can work with the document as you would any other document. When you are ready to send it to everyone on the routing slip, go to File | Send To | Next Routing Recipient. In this example, the recipient will receive the message below, with the default message text.

Note that you will need a MAPI-compliant e-mail program, such as Outlook or Outlook Express, or a VIM-compatible program, such as Lotus cc:Mail, to add a routing slip to your Word 2002/2003 documents.


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16 comments
andre
andre

I actually think it's a nifty tool. Yes, granted, switching on Tracking and sending to a group of e-mail recipients will also work, but there is no specific, linear progression in that approach. 1. I like the e-mail notification sent to me when recipient A sends it to recipient B on my list and 2. The tracked changes from A are visible to B and later to C etc. I can use this in my work environment.

coupe37chevy
coupe37chevy

I think that color coding each persons revisions would allow for additional feedback in a timely manor.

fern_cutler
fern_cutler

I noticed that this feature is also available on Word 2000. However, since my company is still in the dark ages, most of the employees are still stuck with Word 97! I'm one of the few "lucky" ones who has Windows 2000. I'm assuming that, if I try to route a Word 2000 document to employees running Word 97, the routing functionality will be lost . . .

jnanning
jnanning

Old news for old software.... The routing slip is an round about way of doing something you can do directly today... Send your document to recipient number 1 with TRACK CHANGES TURNED ON and have them send it on to the next recipient on the list. Who needs a routing slip????

esnay
esnay

I think this is something that I'd like to try.

dqkennard
dqkennard

This might have been more timely and useful if we hadn't upgraded (and weren't planning to upgrade) to Office 2007, which removed this feature in favor of pushing people toward Sharepoint-based workspaces and workflow.

mlusk
mlusk

I can't figure out how to see the status of the document as it moves through the routing list. I am not receiving an e-mail message when it moves from one reviewer to another. Am I missing something? Thanks, Monica

cguckert
cguckert

Mary Ann, could you please explain the "protect for" options? If "tracked changes" is checked, does that mean the reviewer CANNOT insert changes into the document? Obviously, the point would be to be able to make changes (visible) and comments, so would you check "none" in that case? Thanks, Carolyn

d.j.elliott
d.j.elliott

You can still use the routing slip in office 2007; you just have to code it in VBA (EASY). The point of using a slip is that the author of the document sets the list of recipients instead of relying on a recipient to send it along to the next person. You can set in VBA whether or not the status is tracked or if you want the routing slip to go one after another or to everyone at once. What I wish is that you could add an attachment to a routing slip email message. You can send a message with an attachment by invoking Outlook from, say MS Word. Problem is, you can't use a routing slip when you do it this way. talk about brick walls

shinerwright50
shinerwright50

Works OK if you substitute the last letter with "?"

lrhodes
lrhodes

We use routing extensively, and are holding off going to 2007 because it doesn't accomodate routing. Very frustrating. I wish I could have been at the meeting when Microsoft decided we didn't need this capability any more.

glandry
glandry

If you hadn't noticed, they've also removed the (formerly) built-in ability to dictate into Office documents. I'm noticing more and more little things I used to rely on in Office 2003, that have been taken away in Office 2007.

cmr_exec
cmr_exec

According to Microsoft Help, here's how to use the Protect options: Click Comments to let reviewers insert comments but not change the contents of the document. Click Tracked Changes to turn on revision marking, which tracks all changes the reviewer makes in the document. Click Forms if you are routing a form that you want recipients to complete without modifying the form itself. If you click (none), the reviewers' changes are not tracked, so you can't highlight or merge them. Hope this helps!

dqkennard
dqkennard

The collaboration model of workflows based around Sharepoint services is pretty strong. Setting up the company shared files within the Sharepoint umbrella gives access to a variety of useful abilities, including workflows. On the other hand, it does also tie everything more closely/unavoidably into the Microsoft "ecosystem". Plus, passing a document with an attached routing slip looks like it would be a bit more likely to play well with collaborators outside the company firewall (though some mail systems might strip off that sort of phone home code anyway).

gsikora01
gsikora01

Do you mean that we can not dictate into Word/ Outlook etc without purchasing Dragon or another similar product? I have not yet tried this in Office 2007 as we just received it.

cguckert
cguckert

Yes, thanks much! I looked in Help but couldn't located that info.