Tame your computer - spot the difference

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In her regular series for Cambridge Network members - now in its 15th year - software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'.  This week she describes how to spot the difference between two documents (Microsoft Word).

Like lots of companies I recently had to change my business plans. Not what I had expected to do, but you have to adapt and pull yourself together and develop easy to understand and fun ways to tackle time-consuming and frustrating day-to-day tasks … using webinars. Over recent months lots of people told me that one of the best Word tips was about comparing two copies of a document. At the time it was written (May 2005) the steps applied to version 2000; so time to dust it off and write how to spot the differences between two documents using Word 2007 onwards.

Here's how:

  1. Open the documents that you want to compare. (Not really necessary, but I find that the easiest way.)
  2. On the Review tab, in the Compare group, click Compare.
  3. Select Compare from the drop-down list.
  4. Select the first version from the drop-down arrow under Original document.
  5. Select the modified document from the Revised document drop-down list.
  6. Click OK.

 A new third document will list all modifications as tracked changes and the two documents that were compared are unchanged.

If you want to compare changes from a number of versions, select Combine rather than Compare in step 3. (Note to oneself … write a tip about this at some point.)

Top tips – as nominated by you!

Speaking of favourite tips like this one … Helen Percy says hers is CTRL + K. (“My all-time favourite – a quick way to put links into emails. I use this literally every day at work. It saves so much time” she wrote the other day.) Katherine Wiid told me she uses CTRL + 1 and CTRL + 2 to toggle between Outlook’s inbox and calendar, along with CTRL + N to create a new email message and CTRL + L in PowerPoint. And Mandy Allen wrote her favourite PowerPoint tip is converting an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic.

What are yours? I would love to hear from you so that I can put a Top-Tips-As-Nominated-By-You together. (The top 5 as nominated by you back in 2007 can be found here.)

Related tips

Quickly spot whether change tracking is on or off
Warn before printing, saving or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments

Show changes and comments inline instead of in balloons
Make reviewer names anonymous
Inspect your document for tracked changes
Remove - not just hide - tracked changes  
Comparing two copies of a document


28 September 2020

Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd.  Contact her by email (Karen@roem.co.uk) or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk


Karen Roem
Microsoft Office-ionado

Roem Ltd – software training and support