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How to combine word documents

@bsovvy
March 5, 2020, 11:23am EDT

How to combine word documents

For most people, the quickest method for combining Word documents is to manually copy and paste them into one. This isn’t the best method for merging documents—a far easier method is to insert your documents as objects instead. Here’s how.

You should be able to do this in any modern version of Microsoft Word, even those included with the latest versions of Office. These instructions should work for older versions of Word, too.

To begin, open a new or existing Microsoft Word document. This is the “master” document where you’ll combine all of your Word documents into a single file.

From the ribbon bar, click the “Insert” tab.

How to combine word documents

You’ll need to locate the “Object” button in the “Text” section. The icon may be large or small, depending on your screen resolution.

Press the downward-pointing arrow next to the “Object” button and then click the “Text from File” option in the drop-down menu that appears.

How to combine word documents

In the “Insert File” selection box, locate the first Word document you want to add to your open document.

Select the file and then click the “Insert” button to add it to your document.

How to combine word documents

The contents of the selected Word document will be combined with your open document.

If it’s a new document, the contents will appear from the beginning. If you’re merging Word files into an existing document, the contents of your inserted files will appear below any existing content.

There are no limitations to this process—you can repeat these steps to combine as many Word documents as you like.

You’ll need to think about the order of your final document before you merge multiple documents, however. In the example below, several Word documents have been named with the endings A, B, and C to clarify the order of insertion.

How to combine word documents

Merging multiple documents using the same Word format should mean your formatting, images, and other content move across to the new document, but double-check that this is the case when the merge process has been completed.

If you’re moving from a DOC to a DOCX file, you might lose formatting or other content, depending on how recently the file was edited in a modern version of Word.

Create a primary document for ease of access

How to combine word documents

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When you want to combine multiple Microsoft Word documents into one, copying content from each and pasting it into another document isn’t efficient. It can be time-consuming, especially when dealing with several documents or complex formatting. Here’s the best way to merge Word documents.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word for Mac.

Merge Two or More Word Documents

Follow the directions below to combine Word documents into one primary file.

Open the file you wish to serve as the main document.

Place the cursor at the point of the document where you wish to insert the new content.

Go to the Insert tab, located near the upper-left corner of Word.

How to combine word documents

In the Text section, select Object.

How to combine word documents

In the drop-down menu, select Object.

Choose Text from File if you want to insert plain text from a source file and aren’t concerned with maintaining the formatting or retaining the images.

In the Object dialog box, go to the Create from File tab.

How to combine word documents

Select Browse on Windows, or From File on macOS.

How to combine word documents

Locate and select the file or files containing the contents you wish to insert into the document.

When the File name is field is populated with the proper path and the source files, select OK on Windows, or Insert on macOS.

The contents from the destination files are inserted into the current Word document at the location you selected. These steps can be repeated for multiple documents if you like.

Merge Different Versions of a Single Document

When several people work on a single document, you have multiple versions of the same document. These versions can also be merged into one primary file without manually copying and pasting. However, the process for doing so is a bit different than detailed above.

Go to the Review tab.

How to combine word documents

Select Compare.

How to combine word documents

In the drop-down menu, select Combine or Combine Documents.

How to combine word documents

In the Combine Documents dialog box, select the main document. Either select the Original document drop-down arrow and choose the file or select the folder icon.

How to combine word documents

Choose the document to merge with the main document. Select the Revised document drop-down arrow and choose the file containing the changes.

How to combine word documents

Select the More button in Windows or the down arrow in macOS. This presents several optional settings that dictate how the two files are compared, along with how changes appear in the new document.

How to combine word documents

Once satisfied with the settings, select OK to merge the documents accordingly. Both files appear side-by-side, along with a record of revisions and the corresponding details.

November 29, 2018 by Hung Nguyen

Instructions on how you can merge Word documents within a few seconds, online or offline.

The process to combine word documents is tricky. You can do the manual, copy-and-paste job, but that may be quite tedious when you have many files on hand.

This article will go through the steps to undertake, to merge word documents in batch, as many as you’d like, simultaneously.

How to Merge Word Documents – With Microsoft Word

Have the first Word document opened; a blank document could do too.

Click Insert > (Text) > Object > Text from File

Highlight and select as many files as you’d like, before clicking ‘Insert’.

How to combine word documents

How to merge word documents, from Microsoft Word

Unfortunately, this method only available for Word 2007 and onwards. The repetitive handwork can be also quite laborious. If you do not have access to a compatible version, or do not wish to have to open, select and merge files manually, move onto the next step.

How to Merge Word Documents – With Smallpdf

If you are merging word documents to share with collaborators, we would suggest to save them into PDF instead. This ensures that no third party can tamper with your content. PDF files are also much more portable and lightweight, which makes them easier to pass around.

We’ve got the most popular PDF merger and converter for you to take advantage of for this process. To get started, save Word files to PDF. You can do this via Microsoft Word ‘Save as PDF’ function, or our PDF converter. Then:

Upload as many files as you’d like to merge, let us do the conversion process and download your combined document.

If you wish to have the document you want to merge to stay in Word, click ‘to Word’ on the result page, before downloading.

Smallpdf aims to make the process of merging multiple files painless, as we don’t have a limit on how many files can be imported into the tool at once. To join multiple word documents, such make sure that they are in PDF format before the conversion.

How to combine word documents

Merge Word documents while in PDF format

Is Smallpdf Reliable?

Over 18 million users access our platform on a monthly basis to merge, split and convert their documents, thanks to our security protocols and fast processing.

All file transfers use SSL connections, and we remove all files from our servers after an hour of processing.

Quality wise, we also adopt OCR technology to make sure that your file formats are retained in the revised documents, even when you try to convert and merge word documents that are scanned. There should be little to no changes in comparison to the original document. Best of yet, we’re also free to use, up to twice an hour, for all your document management needs.

Lastly, as an online platform, you can use Smallpdf to merge your word files on any OS and browser, such as Mac, Windows, and Linux.

What Else Can Smallpdf Do?

We’ve got a full suite of 16 other tools to help you convert and merge many document types, from Word and PDF to PPT, Excel, and JPG. Just use the same logic as the instructions above to merge your documents.

We also have enhancement tools, to help you split, rotate and cut down pages, which are all available on our homepage for you to use.

Combining Word files cannot get any easier, regardless of whether you decide to do so online or offline, via Microsoft Word or Smallpdf. Same goes for mobile devices, in which we are also fully compatible.

If you merge files frequently, do check out our Pro subscriptions, which grants unlimited processing power to the Smallpdf toolsuite, at the cost of a coffee each month.

We aim to make the process of handling digital documents as seamless, efficient, and free. Any feedback, suggestions or questions, we are only an email away!

Microsoft Word is the popular word processing tool used primarily to create, edit and save the documents for any kind of business. Apart from creating just files, one of the most important advantages of using Microsoft Word is that you can easily analyze the feedback for the documents from multiple reviewers and rewrite them by combining multiple documents sent for a review into one.

Why combine multiple Word documents into one?

There may be times when you may have to send your documents to your editors or team members for a quick review, feedback and suggestions. After a review, you receive a handful of feedback and revision copies in the form of word outlining a number of edits and changes from a lot of reviewers. A simple copy and paste will consume enormous time if you want to combine reviews and changes from multiple copies. With so many copies of changes and edits from multiple authors or reviewers, it is quite possible that things can go weary.

To make sure that you don’t miss out on any important feedback and revisions, you may find it useful to combine all the Word documents containing feedback from multiple authors into a single original document. That being said, combining feedback from multiple reviewers into a single word document will let you label the changes made by specific reviewers. This way it will ease out your work to review comments and make necessary changes.

In this article, we explain how to easily merge multiple documents in Microsoft Word.

Merge two Word documents into one

Launch Microsoft Word and open your original document which you sent for review.

In the toolbar, navigate to Review tab and click Compare.

How to combine word documents

Select the option Combine from the drop-down menu. This will pop up a secondary window that allows you to choose the two documents which you want to combine.

Under the option Original document, select the primary document which you have sent for suggestions and reviews. Make sure that you select the original documents that you have worked on which do not contain any edits and modifications from reviewers.

How to combine word documents

In the Label unmarked changes with box, type original or any phrase to know that this is the original document which was sent for review. –>

How to combine word documents

Under the Revised document, choose a reviewed document which you want to combine.

In the Label unmarked changes with box, write the name of the author to know who suggested the modifications.

How to combine word documents

Click More and under Show Changes in option, select the New document.

Click OK.

The Word now opens a new document that will display both your original document which you sent for review and the copy from the author which you merged. The word divides the screen into three sections with a combined document displayed at the center, revisions outlined to the left of the screen and, displays both original and revised documents simultaneously split into two in the third section.

How to combine word documents

If you find this information very confusing, you can bring down the sections to two to make the visuals more appealing. Follow the below steps to minimize the display in the toolbar.

Navigate to Compare.

Click Show source Documents and select Hide Source Documents.

How to combine word documents

Once you have included all the changes the way you want, Save the document. –>

Combine additional Word copies

If you want to combine more copies from a different reviewer, repeat the same steps as mentioned above. However now to merge additional copies you need to use the revised documents which you got from merging the two documents in the above and add secondary documents into the revised word file. Follow the below steps to merge the additional copies

In the toolbar, navigate to Review tab and click Compare.

How to combine word documents

Under the option Original document, select the revised document that contains the combined changes

In the Label unmarked changes box, type any phrase to know that this is a revised document that contains the combined changes.

Under the Revised document, choose any document which you want to combine.

In the Label unmarked changes box, write the name of the author to know who suggested the modifications.

Click More and under Show Changes in option, select the New document.

Click OK.

Word opens a new document that will display both your revised document that contains combined changes and the secondary reviewed document from the author which you merged.

Once you have included all the changes the way you want, Save the document.

The above-mentioned procedure works well with Microsoft Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010 and Word 2007.

Wrapping up

Merging documents is extremely useful if you have got too many edits during the review process. For a document with huge content, adding too many changes will be time-consuming. In such a scenario, it is quite helpful to merge documents in Word. However, If your content is not very large and if you find the above steps overwhelming, you can simply copy the text that you want to include in the document and past them directly into your new documents.

It’s not as intuitive as it should be

If you’re a heavy Word user, you probably have come across a situation where it would be convenient to merge multiple Word documents into one master document. Even though it’s not very difficult to do this in Word, it’s also not very intuitive.

You would think Microsoft would have included some merge documents feature into the program considering how many other more complicated tasks it can complete. Anyway, in this article, I’ll show you a quick and simple way to combine several Word documents into one document.

It’s worth noting that the procedure pretty much works on all versions of Office from 2007 to 2016. Also, in my own tests, it seems that all the formatting was retained when the documents were combined. However, this was only tested on files using the same version of Office. I’m not 100% sure if all the formatting will remain if you insert a Word 2007 document into Word 2016.

Merge Multiple Word Documents

To get started, open the first Word document that you want to use as the master file. Next, go to the position in the document where you want to insert the additional Word file. The nice thing about this method is that you can insert the additional Word files anywhere in the master file. It doesn’t always have to be at the end.

Now, click on the Insert tab and click on Object.

How to combine word documents

Now choose the documents that you want to insert. You can do it one at a time or you can choose multiple documents at once by holding down the SHIFT key and selecting them.

How to combine word documents

If you have a particular order they need to be inserted in, then do it one at a time. I’m not sure exactly how Word decides which files gets inserted when you select more than one at a time.

How to combine word documents

As you can see in the example above, the text from the second Word document starts right where I had the cursor, which was at the end of the first document. All of the formatting for the second document remained, including bold, bullet points, line spacing, text colors, text size, etc.

I even tested a document that just had pictures and other items like WordArt, charts, etc. and all of those items got merged properly too. Again, you could run into issues if you are merging documents that were created using different versions of Office. If that is the case, the best option is to open the older files in a newer version of Word and save it in the new file format.

Also, check out my other posts on how to combine multiple text files and how to merge multiple Powerpoint presentations. Enjoy!

Founder of Help Desk Geek and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio

This tutorial will be useful for you if you want to merge or combine comments from multiple Microsoft Word documents. It is possible to use the Combine functionality in Microsoft Word to join all comments and create a new document. This article will guide you through the steps so that you can consolidate all the comments into one.

Let’s assume that you have a document to edit, and you have made several changes in the document. In the meantime, you have written some comments and replied to some comments as well. You want to combine the new comments with the existing ones and show them in a new or revised document. If it is required to merge the whole document with another one, you can follow our previous guide.

Merge comments from multiple documents in Word

To merge commends from multiple documents in Word, follow these steps-

  1. Open the revised document in Word.
  2. Switch to the Review tab.
  3. Click on Compare and select the Combine option.
  4. Click on the folder icon to choose the Original document and Revised document.
  5. Click on the More button.
  6. Uncheck all boxes except Comments.
  7. Choose the destination from under Show changes in heading.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Press Ctrl+S to save the document.

Open the revised document in Microsoft Word and switch from the Home tab to the Review tab. In the Compare section, you will see a button called Compare. Click on it and select the Combine option.

How to combine word documents

Now, click the folder icon visible next to the boxes to select the Original document and Revised document. –>

How to combine word documents

After that, click on the More button to explore other options.Here you will see the Comparison settings. As you are going to merge comments only, uncheck all the boxes except Comments.

How to combine word documents

Then, select the document where you want to show the changes. It is possible to show them in a new document, the original document, or the revised document. Choose an option from under the Show changes in heading. –>

At last, click the OK button to start reviewing all the changes. If done, press Ctrl+S to save the document. If you have created a new document, it is required to select a location and give it a name.

This article explains how to combine several Word documents into one document. It’s particularly useful if you’ve written a dissertation, thesis or book and need to combine all of the chapters into one file.

These instructions work for Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013; I’ve used Word 2010 for the screenshots

Why would I want to combine chapters into one document?

Lots of people do their writing a chapter at a time, and have it edited a chapter at a time, too. But the time will come when you want to put it all into one book, with page numbers running throughout, rather than messing around starting the page numbers for chapter 2 at the next number on from chapter 1, etc.

What’s the incorrect way to combine my chapters?

You might be tempted to pick up the text of each chapter and copy and paste it into one document. That can lead to issues and inconsistencies. This is the correct way to do it and actually takes less time and avoids you leaving out any bits of your individual chapters.

How do I prepare to combine my documents?

It’s pretty easy to combine several documents into one, however the most important point is …

The file names must be in the order that the chapters are going to be in.

Word will combine your chapter files in alphanumerical order.

If you have called your chapter files

Chapter 1 introduction

Chapter 2 review of the literature

Chapter 3 methodology

Chapter 4 conclusion

then that’s fine, they will combine in that order.

If you have called your chapter files

Review of the literature

then Word will carefully sort them alphabetically into

Review of the literature

when it combines your documents.

The best thing to do is add a number 1, 2, 3, etc at the start of your file names BEFORE YOU START COMBINING, so you know they will come out in the correct order.

How do I combine my documents?

OK, so we’ve got, say, four documents or chapters to combine into one.

First, open a new, blank document (using the Home button, New, and choosing a blank document)

Then, click on the Insert tab and find Object in the Text area:

How to combine word documents

Click on the arrow to the right of Object to get the drop-down menu, and click on Text from File:

How to combine word documents

Now navigate to your files and select the ones you want to combine.

How to combine word documents

Hold down the Control Key and click on all the ones you want to combine (or click on the top one, hold down Shift and click on the bottom one if you want all of them). Once you have them all highlighted, click Insert.

How to combine word documents

Note: it doesn’t matter what order you are displaying them in or what order you click them in, it will choose them and insert them in alphabetical or numerical order, as I mentioned above.

Now you will have one big document including all of your chapters!

How to combine word documents

And … if you had footnotes in the documents, and had set page numbers to show, they will automatically update in the combined document to be numbered consecutively (if you want start your footnote numbering at 1 for each chapter, you’ll need to look at my posts on footnotes and endnotes).

Don’t forget to save your document!

PS: If you find you lose your formatting when combining Word documents, read this article for the solution.

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents.

If you have enjoyed this post and found it useful, please click on the “share” buttons below or tell your friends and colleagues about it! Thank you!

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

How to combine word documents

Sometimes when you’re collaborating on a word document with co-workers or editors, the number of copies, edits, and changes can quickly grow out of hand. This is why it’s helpful to have the option to combine two separate documents in Word, because a copy and an edited copy will not only merge, but you’ll also have the option to label which changes were made by a specific author and when.

Learn how you can easily merge two documents in Microsoft Word.

Merge the Two Documents

To start, open the first document you want to act as the primary document. Then, using the top toolbar, click on the “Review” tab, and find the button labeled “Compare.”

From here, click the option to “Combine …” from the drop-down menu.

How to combine word documents

This will open up a secondary box where you’ll need to select the two documents you want to combine from a drop-down list.

How to combine word documents

Choose the first document you want to act as the master. In general, you’ll want this to be the original copy, while the second document should be the copy with any edits from other people. Also, make sure you use the “Label unmarked changes” box to identify which users made changes to which aspects of the document.

If you click “More,” you can also control where these changes will be shown, either in the “Original document,” the “Revised document,” or in a “New document.”

How to combine word documents

Manage the Combined Document

Once the document is merged, you’ll be greeted by the following window.

How to combine word documents

Here you’ll see three independent sections – the left showing the “Revisions” made to the document, the middle showing the combined document, and the right section which will show both the original document and the revised document simultaneously.

If this amount of information is a bit too overwhelming, you can click the “Compare” button again, and scroll down to find the option labeled “Hide source documents.”

How to combine word documents

Click on this and bring the three sections down to two.

Merge in Additional Copies

If you’d like to add in more copies (such as in the example of having multiple edits per document), simply repeat the same process as you did above, but use the “Revised document” as your original copy, and then find the secondary documents you want to add in from the same list you used for the initial import.

Copy and Paste

Of course, if you want to cut down on all the complicated measures listed above, there’s always the trusty process of simply hitting Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V .

To use this option, find the source text that you want to import into your new document, and select anything you want to bring over with your mouse.

How to combine word documents

Next, either right-click the text and choose “Copy” from the drop-down menu, or simply use the key command mentioned above to cut the text and paste it into the new document you want to edit.

Wrapping Up

The way you choose to merge your two documents will ultimately depend on the amount of control you want to have over what gets imported, as well as how many edits are made available during the revision process. Luckily, Word includes several different options for merging documents, so you can use it however suits your personal case the best!

A tech writer with seven years of experience in the industry, Chris Stobing has come to MakeTechEasier to do one thing and one thing only: make tech easier for the people who need it!

Writing a report or a book with multiple authors? Each one sends their chapter separately. Now your job is to Combine multiple Word documents. Don’t even think of copy paste. Here is a short video which explains how it is done in seconds.

How to Combine multiple Word documents

Open a blank new document.

Insert – open the Object dropdown – choose Text from file. Do not worry, the caption is a bit misleading. It makes you think that only TEXT will be imported – not formatting. But for Word documents, it does import all the formatting.

How to combine word documents

Select multiple files and click ok. Documents are now combined in the order in which it is shown in the file selection dialog.

How to combine word documents

Here the order is changed – alphabetical.

How to combine word documents

How to distinguish these documents after combining them

There is no way to do this. All get combined as a single document. If you have used styles properly, rearranging them is easy by just rearranging them using drag-drop in the Navigation Pane.

What if the original documents change?

No problem. That is also taken care of. Open the dropdown next to Insert button in the file selection dialog and choose Insert as Link.

How to refresh the combined document?

When you click anywhere inside a Linked document, the background will turn gray. This indicates the linkage.

How to combine word documents

Open the combined document, press Ctrl A to Select All. Right click and choose Update Fields. That’s it. The path of the original files must remain the same for this to work.

Disadvantage of Inserting Linked files

The inserted files are pointing to the original file. When the original file changes, refresh will work as shown above. However, any manual changes you have done to the imported files will be overwritten. You can type content BETWEEN the imported files.

Why is it called “Text from file”

We imported only Word documents. But this feature works with txt, csv, odt, rtf files as well. Yes, including PDF. If you have Word 2013 or above, just use this option to select PDF file. It will import the contents and convert these to styles and tables very nicely. It may not be perfect in 100% of cases but it is a very handy tool.

It is also supposed to work with Excel. But it did not work for me. I am researching the problem.