Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Compare Documents Feature in Microsoft Word: How to do it ?

What is it?
Microsoft Word is an outstanding word processor to manage your document. It gives you ability, not only to edit or create a document, but you can also compare the differences between two documents. Compare document feature in MS Word allows you to see the changes made between two documents.

What is Need of it?
In earlier version of MS Word 2007 the Compare and Merge feature of Word lets you combine two version of same document into one file. Also you can see each user's changes, if changes have been made by using Track Changes feature of Word. But you can not see the both original document and merged document simultaneously.

Here are few examples where we need this feature:
  • You have prepared a document in MS Word and had sent to some reviewers to review it and they had edited your document without using Track Changes feature.

  • Sometimes while working on text content, we found our self in a situation where we want to compare two documents word by word.

  • A student has written an essay on a topic and he sent to his teacher for review and his teacher made some changes.
In above all situation it would be very annoying to read texts line by line of both documents and find out the changes have been made. So in those cases compare document feature of MS Word is very helpful to do this job and it will save your lot of time.

How to do this?
In MS Word 2007 and 2010, the process of comparing two documents is same.

Someone has two documents named “Myown document” and “Reviewer document” and now that person want to find out the changes have been done by reviewer through Word's compare feature.

Myown Document-

Reviewer Document-

Follow these below steps to compare these two documents and find out the differences made in  reviewer documents.
1. Click on Review tab on the status bar and select the Compare option from the group. You will get this Compare option at the right side of Ribbon.

2. Click on first one Compare(Compare two versions of a document ).

3. Now you will get the Compare Documents window where you have to select your both documents.

4. In Compare Documents window, select your first document (Myown document) in “Original document” box and select the second document (Reviewer document) in “Revised document” box. You can select your document in both section from their respective drop down menus or you can browse your document by clicking the folder icons beside the each drop down section.

In above image you can see that I have selected Myown document in first box and Reviewer document in second box.

5. If you want to customize your comparison setting or want to see that how comparison will perform then click on more in Compare Documents window. You will see many features of comparison in Comparison settings. Look below in the image.

You can also exclude some of the aspects those you do not want to make comparison between two documents. Like you can exclude formatting, comment, move, etc. To keep out these features from settings you have to just uncheck the box just beside of each feature.

6. When you are done with 5th step then click on OK. When you will click on OK then Word will open a new document which will show the text of revised document and highlights the changes made in revised version of document.

In above image you can see all the changes made by reviewer in red color.

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