How to

How to Use Microsoft Word’s Compare Feature

If you’re on a collaborative team of workers, or you’re simply dealing with numerous modifications of your own work, it’s essential to be able to track incremental changes. In Microsoft Word, the capability to compare every difference in 2 nearly-identical documents is built in to the Compare tool. Here’s how to utilize it.

Initially, open Word and any document file. (It can be one of the ones you’re comparing, another document entirely, or just a blank job.) Click the “Review” tab at the top of the screen to open the ribbon menu, then click the “Compare” button– it will be near the best side of the menu.

Click “Compare” once again if another menu opens. Then in the new window, choose your two files: the “Original” (or earlier) document, and the “Revised” (or later on) document. If you don’t see either in the dropdown menu, click the folder icon on the right to search to the file using your file browser.

Under “Label modifications with,” you can set a note to help you keep track of which difference belongs to which record. Here I’m going to identify my own “later” since it’s the latest modification of the manuscript. You can just add a tag to the modified document, however you can switch in between them with the double-arrow icon.

Click the “More” button to see innovative alternative. The majority of these are obvious, and all choices are made it possible for by default. Keep in mind the “Show changes at” alternative, which reveals individual changes either one character at a time (very slow) or one word at a time.

Click “OK.” Word will open a complicated-looking choice of panes in a single file. From left to right, you have a made a list of list of changes, a complete view of the “Revised” document with red marks on the left margin indicating changes, and a double pane showing the initial and revised files stacked. Scrolling with your mouse wheel will scroll all 3 of the primary panes simultaneously, but you can utilize the scroll bars on the right of each to scroll the individual panes to each.

The Revisions pane is the most helpful here. It reveals each modification, what was eliminated, and what was added, in order from the top of the file to the bottom. It’s a wonderful way to see the differences in the text and formatting at a glimpse. Clicking any of the entries in the Revisions pane will instantly scroll the other panes to the relevant position. Cool!

As soon as you’ve utilized the Revisions tab to discover the specific revision, you can right-click on the appropriate text in the center pane. Click “Accept” or “Reject” (followed by the matching action) to keep or go back the modification, respectively.

You can conserve this compared file as a different file that won’t impact either of the documents you’re presently viewing. Just click File>> Save as, and save it like any other Word file.

Note that the Compare function isn’t readily available if either document has password security or its changes are secured in Word. You can change this setting in the private files by clicking Review>> Track Changes.

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