It is often helpful to compare one version of a document to another to see what has changed. For example:
- An employee in the marketing department might create a document highlighting the benefits of a product and send it to a manager for review. The manager then makes a lot of changes, without tracking them, and returns it to the employee. To quickly find out what the manager changed, the employee can compare the original document with the version received back from the manager.
- An individual sends a legal agreement to another person, who makes changes and returns it. To quickly find out what the person changed, the first individual can compare the original agreement with the version received back from the second person.
To compare two documents:
- 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:
- Select Compare:
- In the Compare Documents dialog box:
- Choose the original and revised documents you wish to compare.
- In the Label unmarked changes with boxes, Word will suggest who to attribute changes to. You can edit this if you want.
- Under Comparison settings, deselect anything you do not wish to check. By default, Word checks for all types of changes.
- If necessary, click the More>> button to display the Comparison settings:
- 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:
- Click OK to compare the documents. Differences will show up as tracked changes. The image below shows what they might look like: