How to compare two Word documents for differences

If you work in a team, where you have to review modifications to documents or simply need to review the changes between several versions of your own work, Word has a tool that will be very useful for you, so today I am going to teach you how to compare two Word documents for differences.

Steps to follow on how to compare two Word documents for differences

To compare two Word documents for differences, you need to follow the steps below. Let’s say you want to compare 2 versions of a document and check for changes made between the two.

The first thing to do is open the Word document you want to compare, click on the review tab on the top task bar of Word, then click on compare (on the right) and again click on compare of the 2 options that are shown:

How to compare two Word documents for differences

Next, in the window that appears, select the two documents, first the original (or oldest) and the revised (or latest version, if they do not appear among the options, click on the folder icon on the right to search for them using the File Browser.

How to compare two Word documents for differences
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How to compare two Word documents for differences

Here is another example.

How to compare two Word documents for differences

Then, on “Label Changes With”, you can put a note to help you know which difference corresponds to which document, it can be Administrator, or the username, as in this case:

How to compare two Word documents for differences
As you can see, I put my name as administrator, this is very useful when there are several users. You can switch between users by clicking the double arrows in the center. You can only use a label on the document to be reviewed.
Now, you can choose more comparison options by clicking on the “More” button, it shows you a list of the available options, all of which are pre-enabled, and you can choose which one to use. This makes it more specific how to compare changes in two Word documents.
How to compare two Word documents for differences

Then, you click on “OK” and you will see several panels in a single document.
From left to right there is a detailed list of changes, a full view of the revised document with red marks on the left margin indicating changes, and a double pane showing the original and revised documents one on top of the other. Scrolling down with the mouse wheel will bring down all three primary panels at once, although you can use the navigation bars to the right of each panel to scroll down each one.

As you can see, the most useful of these panels is the first, the Revisions panel. it shows each change, what was removed and what was added, in order from top to bottom.

So, this layout is a great way to see the differences in text and formatting at once. Clicking on any of the review panel entries immediately brings the other panels to the relevant position.

For example, in the revised edition of my document, I put several letters at the end of certain paragraphs, and when I click, for example, on P, it shows me in red where the change is, how it looks at the end and how it was at the beginning:

Once you’ve used the revisions panel to find a specific one, you can right-click on the relevant text in the center panel and choose “Accept” or “Reject” to keep or revert the change:

Final thoughts on how to compare changes in two Word documents

Once finished you can save it with another name so as not to affect the previous ones, it is saved as usual.

And that’s it, with this you can maintain the possibility of quickly reviewing the changes made, comparing them and deciding whether to keep them or not. And that was it for how to compare changes in two Word documents.

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