Unless you’re a Microsoft Word expert, you may not have come across the ‘compare’ function. But it can be very useful when editing a document or redrafting an essay. As such, we thought we’d provide a quick guide to how it can be used.
What Is the Compare Function?
As the name suggests, you can use the ‘Compare’ function in Microsoft Word to highlight the differences between two versions of the same document. Essentially, all it does is take two copies of a document and marks changes as if they were made using ‘Track Changes’.
The ‘Compare’ and ‘Combine’ options.
This can be useful if someone has edited your work without indicating the changes. In addition, it is handy if you’re working on an essay and need to check where you made changes to previous drafts.
Microsoft Word also features a ‘Combine’ function. This is similar, but it is designed to be used with documents that already have tracked changes in them.
How to Compare Documents
To compare two documents, you need to go to the ‘Review’ tab on the main ribbon. Once there:
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- Go to ‘Compare’ and click the same option in the dropdown menu
- In the ‘Original document’ box, select the older version of the document you want to compare (if it isn’t one of the listed documents, click ‘Browse’ to search for it)
- In the ‘Revised document’ box, select the edited version
- Make sure ‘Word level’ and ‘New document’ are selected under ‘Show changes’ (these can be changed, but we find these settings work best in most cases)
- Click ‘OK’ to compare the documents
This will produce a new document with all the edits highlighted. You can then review these changes using the options under ‘Tracking’ and ‘Changes’ in the ‘Review’ tab.
For more control, you can also change the ‘Comparison settings’ via the ‘Compare Documents’ dialog box. Insertions and deletions are always tracked, but you can, for example, turn off ‘Comments’ here if you don’t want comments from the edited document to be included in the new version.
Once you have compared documents, simply make any further changes or revise any of the edited sections as required. Next, accept the changes and save the edited document. Voila!
It is often helpful to compare one version of a document to another to see what has changed. To compare two documents in Word, follow these four steps.
This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Word: 2010, 2013, and 2016.
- From within any Microsoft Word document (it does not have to be one of the ones you are comparing, but it can be), click on the Review tab and then click the Compare command.
- Select Compare .
- In the Compare Documents dialog box, do the following.
- Choose the original and revised documents you wish to compare.
- In the Label unmarked changes with boxes, Word will suggest who to attribute changes to. You can edit this if you want.
- Under Comparison settings , deselect anything you do not wish to check. By default, Word checks for all types of changes. If necessary, click the More>> button to display the Comparison settings.
- In the Show changes section, you can choose to show changes in the original document, the revised document or in a new document. The default selection is a new document.
- Click OK to compare the documents. Differences will show up as tracked changes. The image below shows what they might look like.
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Compare Documents in Word: Overview
You can easily compare documents in Word to note changes between them. One of the most commonly performed tasks in the legal profession is creating a legal blackline document. The terms “redlining” or “comparing documents” are two other ways to refer to this. When you compare documents in Word, you can show only the changed content between the two copies in a third, separate document.
Many legal professionals use this feature when reviewing contracts to note the revisions between two copies of a contract. This lets you create and compare multiple copies of a legal document, noting changes between the original, the first draft, the second draft, and so on. This helps you keep all copies of the drafts for historical purposes. It also shows the changes made and who requested the changes. This lesson shows how to compare documents in Word to create a legal blackline document.
To compare documents in Word, first open the two documents to compare in Microsoft Word. Then click the “Review” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Compare” drop-down button in the “Compare” button group. Then select the “Compare…” command from the button’s drop-down menu to open the “Compare Documents” dialog box.
In the “Compare Documents” dialog box, then select the name of the original document from the “Original document” drop-down menu. If you didn’t open the original document before opening the “Compare Documents” dialog box, you can select the document to use by either clicking the “Open” button that appears as a folder icon at the right end of the drop-down menu or by selecting the “Browse…” command from the drop-down menu’s listing of document choices. Microsoft Word then displays the “Open” dialog box, which you can use to find and open the original document.
Compare Documents in Word- Instructions: A picture of a user comparing two documents in Word within the “Compare Documents” dialog box.
Next, use the “Revised document” drop-down to select the name of the revised copy of the document from the drop-down menu. You can also use the “Open” button or the “Browse…” command with the “Revised document” drop-down, just as with the “Original document” drop-down if you did not open the revised document before opening the “Compare Documents” dialog box.
Next, underneath the “Revised document” drop-down, enter the name with which to label changes in the resultant legal blackline document into the “Label changes with” text box, if needed.
Consolidate all of your resumes with this useful tool
Word has two really useful features that almost no one ever uses: Compare Documents and Combine Documents. As their names imply, the features let you either compare two Word docs against each other or combine two together.
So when would you ever need to use this? Well, if you’re like me, you probably have 20 different versions of your resume saved in various locations over the years. Sometimes I modify a resume slightly for a particular company to stress a particular skill or sometimes I’ve added stuff and just saved a new copy.
Anyway, it would be nice to quickly see the difference between my latest resume and older ones to see if there is something I should add to the latest one or possibly remove. In this post, I’ll show you how you can use these two features to quickly find differences between two documents and merge them if you like.
Compare & Combine Documents
In my example, I wanted to see what the difference was between my old resume written in 2007 and the latest one updated in 2013. To do this, open Word, click on the Review tab and then click on Compare.
This will bring up the Compare Documents dialog box where you need to pick your original document and revised document.
At the bottom, you’ll see a whole slew of comparison settings, which you can just leave all checked. By default, it will also show all the changes in a new document, which is better than messing with your original or revised documents.
A new document will open with several different sections: a scrollable list of revisions on the far left, the combined document showing all changes in the middle and the two original documents on the right hand side. Let’s take a closer look at each section.
As you can see here, I’ve deleted a few things and inserted a couple of other lines of text. If you double-click on any of the headings (Aseem Kishore Inserted or Aseem Kishore Deleted), it will move the cursor to that exact position in the document.
In the center, you will see these revisions in various colors. By default, anything with a strike-through is what has been deleted and anything in red and underlined is what has been added to the revised document. Anything in green has been moved around. The place where it was moved from will be double strike-through green and the place where it has been moved to will be double underlined green as shown here:
Finally, on the right hand side, you’ll see the original document at the top and the revised document down below. As you scroll the top document, the bottom one follows along so that they are in sync. You can scroll the bottom one independently of the top screen, though.
In addition to this view, you can also remove both the source documents from the right pane and instead show balloons to easily see the changes. To see what I mean, go ahead and click on the Compare button again, then on Show Source Documents and finally click on Hide Source Documents.
Now click on the Show Markup button under Tracking and click on Balloons and then Show Revisions in Balloons.
On the right hand side of the document, you’ll now see all the revisions with lines coming from the document. This can make it easier to see all the changes if you have a lot of them.
Note that if you just want to see the differences between the documents, then you really don’t have to do anything else. If you want to create a final document from these two documents, you can right-click on any change and choose to Accept or Reject.
Once you have finished, you can save the new document with all the changes you made. Combine Documents is pretty much exactly the same as Compare. If you choose Combine, you’ll get the same dialog where you have to choose the original and revised document.
Once you do that, you’ll get the same layout as before where you see the combined changes in the middle. Again, strikeout text is deleted, red underlined text is added and green text has been moved. Just right-click on each change and choose whether to accept or reject each change. When you are done, save the new combined document.
Overall, these are really useful for times when you have multiple versions of the same document or when several people edit one Word document and you end up with multiple documents to combine into one. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!
Founder of Online Tech Tips 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
October 1, 2020 By Nimisha V S
Compare and Combine are two very useful features of microsoft Word but seldom used by most of us due to our unawareness about these features. These features lets us compare two documents and find the difference between them. So first let’s see some situations in our daily works where we find their use.
In some cases we may have different versions of the same document. We may need to compare these different versions to see the changes between them. Or we may need to combine them to generate a final copy of the document.Using the compare feature we can examine the changes made at every line even including a change in white space. Also another application of these features come in our resume preparation. We may usually have more than one copy of resume prepared for various purposes or modified over time. At times if want to compare or combine any two copies to create an updated resume then the compare and combine feature can be of great use.
At first glance it may appear that these two features are same. But they have different functionalities. The combine feature actually allows us to find who made what changes in a document in addition to just marking the changes. But the compare feature just compares the content differences between two documents.
Now let’s see how we can use these features.
Comparing Documents in Word
1.Open Word and you can find the Compare option under the review tab. Click on Compare.
2.Now from the menu select Compare option to compare any two documents.
3.Now the compare documents dialogue box will appear. We have to select the two documents that are to be compared. Select an original document and a revised document. Under the comparison settings we have different options that can be checked according to our preferences. The changes can be compared at word level or character level. It is better to choose the option of showing the changes in a new document to avoid messing with the original documents.
4. On clicking OK, we will get a new document which will have the differences marked. In the side bar we can see the number of insertions, deletions, moves and formatting changes. Each change will be marked and explained well. In the new document strike out text is deleted, red underlined text is added and green text is moved.
5. By default we will have the original copy of the document selected and displayed in the right panel. We can scroll down the original document in the right panel and the new document with the changes marked will scroll along accordingly. But we have another option to hide the original document. We can select this option from the review tab . Go to Compare option in review tab ->Show Source Documents->select Hide Source Document option.
6.Now in the Tracking tab select the Balloons option and click on Show revisions in balloons.
Now in the right panel we can see the revisions in the document marked in detail in balloon notification form. This gives an easier review of changes in the documents.
7.If you want to have a final copy of the document from the original and revised copies then you can do it easily by editing the new document with all the changes marked. At any change, just right click on the line and choose whether to accept or reject the change. Thus we can add the changes we want and discard the changes not required to create a final copy of the document.
Combining Documents in Word
Combine feature works similar to compare. We have already seen the difference in their functions. Combine can be used to merge two versions of a document to create a final copy of the document. When we use combine to generate a new document then all the changes in the revised document become tracked changes identified by the authors who made the changes.
Now let’s see how to use the combine function:
1. In the review tab select Compare option and click on Combine.
2. In the Combine dialogue box select the original and revised copy of the documents to be combined. Adjust the settings according to your preferences and click OK.
After this you will get the same layout as before in the compare option. You can view the changes , right click on them and choose whether to accept or reject the change. Thus the revised new document can be generated.
Hope you got a clear idea about the compare and combine functionalities. Make use of these useful features to make your works easier and save time.
There are plenty of reasons why you might wish to compare two Microsoft Word documents side-by-side. You might be a teacher, trying to spot a student plagarising another student’s work. Alternatively, you might be working on a document as part of a team, trying to spot the changes your colleagues have made.
It’s pretty easy to track changes in a Word document, but if you want to compare the documents side-by-side, you’ll need to use Word’s built-in document comparison feature. Here’s how.
Comparing Two Microsoft Word Documents
If you have two similar Microsoft Word documents, you can use the document comparison tool to compare them. This will point out any changes that have been made and merge them together, as well as allow you to view the two documents side-by-side.
To do this, open Microsoft Word and press Review > Compare on the ribbon bar. From the Compare drop-down menu, press the Compare… option.
This will open the Compare Documents window. You’ll need to select the two Microsoft Word documents you wish to compare here.
Select your two documents from the Original document and Revised document drop-down menus. Click Browse in the drop-down menus to select the files on your PC if they aren’t listed already.
With both documents selected, you can determine how you wish to label the changes. This will default to your standard document editing name.
If you prefer, you can change this in the Label changes with box, underneath the Revised document drop-down menu.
Advanced Comparison Document Settings
Word will use default settings to compare your documents. If you wish to change these, click the More button in the bottom-left corner.
This will display various options you can use to compare your documents. These include changes to formatting, additional spaces, additions or deletions to the text, and more.
Click the checkbox next to each comparion search option to enable or disable these criteria. Once you’re ready, press OK to begin the comparison.
Using the Document Comparison Overview
This will open a new window, allowing you to see how both documents compare to one another. A list of revisions will be shown in the left-hand panel, while the right-hand panel will allow you to scroll through and see the changes to each paragraph in both documents at once.
The center document will show either the revised or original document, displaying any changes (with a red marker next to each change). Clicking on any of the changes will show the removed or changed text, with the updated text underneath.
You can switch between these views by selecting an option from the Tracking drop-down menu in the Review tab.
For instance, choosing Original will show the original document in the center. If you choose Simple Markup, you’ll be able to view the changed text with a red marker, but not the deleted text. Choosing All Markup will display both the deleted and updated text, while No Markup will display the revised document in the center with no markers.
Merging Document Changes
If you want to merge the changes between two documents, you can use Word’s tracking features to do so. This allows you to copy the changes from the revised document into the original document.
To do this, press the downwards arrow at the bottom of the Accept button, listed under the Changes section in the Review tab.
You can accept each change individually (going through them one-by-one) or accept all of the changes at once. From the drop-down menu, press the Accept and Move to Next or Accept All Changes option, depending on your preference.
Once the changes have been accepted, you’ll need to save the file. To do this, press File > Save As.
You can save the document as a separate, merged document. Alternatively, you can overwrite the first document to replace the original text, leaving only the combined document.
Better Document Creation in Microsoft Word
The best way to work on a team document together is to use document tracking. If you compare two Microsoft Word documents, however, you’ll be able to spot changes (or similarities) much clearly.
This built-in comparison feature is just one way to create better Word documents. You can make longer documents easier to read by adding a table of contents, for instance. If you want to see how long it’s taking you to finish a document, you can track the editing time in Word in your document properties.
If you are part of a team of collaborators, or if you simply do several revisions of your own work, it is important to be able to track incremental changes. In Microsoft Word, the ability to compare each difference in two almost identical documents is built into the comparison tool. Here’s how to use it.
First, open Word and any document file. (It can work from one of those you compare, from another document entirely or simply from an empty project.) Click the “Review” tab in top of the screen to open the ribbon menu, then click on the “Compare” button it will be near the right side of the menu.
Click “Compare” again if another menu opens. Then, in the new window, select your two documents: the “Original” document (or earlier) and the “Revised” document (or later). If you do not see it in the drop-down menu, click on the folder icon on the right to access the document using your file browser.
Under “Edit labels with”, you can set a note to help you know which difference belongs to which document. Here I am going to label mine “later” since this is the last revision of the manuscript. You can only add a label to the revised document, but you can switch from one label to the other with the help of the double arrow icon.
Click the “More” button to see the advanced option. Most of them are self-explanatory and all options are enabled by default. Note the “Show changes at” option, which displays individual changes either one character at a time (very slow) or one word at a time.
Click “OK”. Word will open a complicated selection of panes in one document. From left to right, you have a detailed list of changes, a full view of the “Revised” document with red marks on the left margin showing the changes, and a double pane showing the original and revised stacked documents. Scrolling with your mouse wheel scrolls through the three main panes at the same time, but you can use the scroll bars to the right of each to scroll through the individual panes to each of them.
The Revisions section is the most useful here. It shows each change, what was removed, and what was added, in the top order of the document down. It’s a fantastic way to see the differences in text and formatting at a glance. If you click one of the entries in the Reviewing pane, the other panes instantly scroll to the corresponding position. Neat!
Once you have used the Revisions tab to find the specific revision, you can right-click on the corresponding text in the center pane. Click “Accept” or “Reject” (followed by the corresponding action) to keep or reverse the change, respectively.
You can save this compared document as a separate file that does not affect any of the documents you are currently viewing. Just click File> Save As and save it as any other Word document.
Note that the comparison function is not available if one or the other of the documents has password protection or if its changes are protected in Word. You can change this setting in individual documents by clicking Review> Track Changes.
Microsoft word is a computer application that lets people edit, create or print their files quickly. It is helpful for both students and professionals as it makes things easier for both of them.\n
The following are some of the instances where Microsoft word would be better to use in labeling envelopes :\n
- There is a mass number of envelopes needed to be labeled.\n
- The is a short time to prepare all the envelopes\n
- There are fonts or formats that are available only in Microsoft Word. \u00a0
For additional information regarding Microsoft Word:\n
- What are the parts of Microsoft Word ? https:\/\/brainly.ph\/question\/340215\n
- Definition of Microsoft Word https:\/\/brainly.ph\/question\/420599\n
- Shortcuts in Microsoft Word https:\/\/brainly.ph\/question\/148832
Microsoft Word Features
Microsoft word is a computer application that lets people edit, create or print their files quickly. It is helpful for both students and professionals as it makes things easier for both of them.
The following are some of the instances where Microsoft word would be better to use in labeling envelopes:
- There is a mass number of envelopes needed to be labeled.
- The is a short time to prepare all the envelopes
- There are fonts or formats that are available only in Microsoft Word.
For additional information regarding Microsoft Word:
Word: Compare documents not working
I’ve been working with Word for a couple of decades (!) now, but still it surprises me with what it can do. There are some things I rarely use (such as mail merge), so I’m not familiar with how they work, and then there are other things I just didn’t even realize were in Word — like ‘compare documents’ — because I’ve never had any need to use those features.
However, a work colleague uses Word’s compare function quite often and was having trouble when comparing two versions of the same document. She asked me for help, and then I discovered the value and the speed of the ‘compare’ function.
But first, I got the same error as her (“Word was unable to compare the documents”) when I tried to compare these documents on my computer, thus eliminating her PC as the problem, but once I’d changed some settings, everything worked superbly.
Here’s what I did:
- I first tried to compare the two documents without making any changes to them and keeping all the default settings for the comparison. To compare two documents, go to the Review tab, Compare group, click the Compare button, then select the Compare… option.
- I browsed to the two documents, left all the settings as they were, then clicked OK.
- After a minute or two of processing, I got the same error that my colleague got.
- Document A (the original version) had been created in Word 2003 and so was a *.doc document. To eliminate that as the reason for the error, I saved it as a *.docx document. This reduced the file size considerably (a side bonus).
- I also accepted all track changes in Document A, then saved Document A under a different name (just so I didn’t mess up the original!).
- Document B (the revised version, and already a *.docx document) also had Track Changes turned on, so I accepted all those and saved that document with a new name too.
- I then ran the compare again, again with all the default settings selected, but still I got the error.
- I tried again, this time clearing all the check boxes for the things that didn’t need to be reported as a change in the final document. This time it worked!
For this 250p document, the comparison took very little time (maybe a minute or so) and I got a document that showed all the changes I’d selected to report in the new document. I still had to accept the formatting changes for the tables and the cross-reference field changes, but that was all.
If you ever get this error message when trying to compare document versions, turn off some of the default selections for comparison and run it again.