How to Combine Documents in Microsoft Word

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In Brief...

It is often helpful to combine documents to view changes from multiple sources in one document. The following steps show how to combine two Word documents.

This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Word: 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Instructions

  1. 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.
    Compare Command

  2. Select Combine.
    Select Combine

  3. In the Combine Documents dialog box:
    1. Choose the original and revised documents you wish to combine.
    2. In the Label unmarked changes with boxes, Word will suggest who to attribute changes to. You can edit this if you want.
    3. Under Comparison settings, deselect anything you do not wish to check. By default, Word checks for all types of changes.
    4. 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.
      Show Changes Section

  4. Click OK to compare the documents. Differences will show up as tracked changes.

  5. If both documents contain formatting changes, Word will ask you to choose which formatting changes to keep. Select one of the documents and then press Continue with Merge.
    Choose Formatting Changes

  6. The image below shows what they might look like.
    Example

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Author: Dave Dunn

Dave Dunn joined Webucator as Chief Operating Officer in early 2009. He has served as a CFO and COO for numerous small and medium-sized companies, including Summit Software Company, Insight Research Group, Avalon Consulting, CampaignBase.com and HealthcareOne. He has expertise in business development, financial management, marketing and human resources and particularly enjoys working with rapidly growing companies.

Dave received his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and his MBA from Syracuse University. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Montessori School of Syracuse since 2001.

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