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Compare Two Word Documents

How to Compare Documents in Word

Comparing lets you see the differences between two documents. For example, if you and a co-worker have made changes to the same document in separate files, you can combine them together to see all the changes in one document, making it easier to accept or reject them.

Open the Compare View

  1. Click the Review tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click the Compare button.
  3. Select Compare.

    A dialog box appears where you can select the two documents that you'll be comparing.

    Compare Documents

  4. Click the Original document list arrow.

    Documents that you’ve opened recently will be listed here. If the document you’re looking for is listed, select it. Otherwise, click the Browse button and locate it.

  5. Select your document.
  6. Click the Revised document list arrow.
  7. Select the document you want to compare to the original.

    Once both documents are selected, you could compare them now by clicking OK, or access additional options to control how they’re compared.

    Compare Documents

  8. Click the More button in the Compare Documents dialog box.

    You can, for example, choose whether to compare or ignore certain elements such as formatting, headers and footers, comments, or text case changes.

    You can also specify whether changes are marked at the character level or word level, and whether to show the changes between documents in the original document, the revised one, or in a new merged document.

  9. Customize the comparison options.
  10. Click OK when you’re done.
    Compare Documents

A new document is created, merging the two documents into one and highlighting any differences.

Accept or Reject Differences

Once the documents have been combined, you can browse through the differences and accept or reject them. The Revisions pane will appear on the left, the compared document in the middle, and the original and revised documents on the right.

  1. Click Next Change or Previous Change to browse the differences between the documents.
  2. Click Accept or Reject to accept or reject differences.
    Compare Documents