Comparing Two Microsoft Word Documents

Picture this: You have a member of your team that is working on editing their own copy of a Microsoft Word document you created. They email you back their revisions. You want to compare what was edited and/or changed between yours and the one just emailed back your way, but what’s the easiest way to do that? Microsoft Word has built in compare functionality. Here’s how you use it.

First off open up just a blank document in Word. Then click on the “Review” tab on the top and click on “Compare” and select “Compare…”

In the pop-up window, select the two documents you want to compare.

Select the “More >>” menu to give you a variety of options for your comparison. You can also provide a label for the changes in the new version. In this case, we’re adding a bit of Jive to a Dicken’s classic.

After you hit OK, you’ll get a fairly messy window that will pop-up. You’ll get a full itemized list of what was changed, a full view of the revised document with highlighted changes and differences, and then two panes on the right side showing your two original documents.

If you scroll through the main document, it will scroll the other panes simultaneously, making it easier to find what was edited. The revisions pane is probably the most useful – click on a noted revision and it will scroll to that point in the document.

You can then click on a revision and either accept it or reject it right there:

Once you’ve accepted or tweaked all the revisions as needed, you can then save your compared document as a separate document that won’t affect either of the documents you are currently working with. Just head up to the menu and save per usual processes.

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