Tame your computer - spot the difference

In her regular series for Cambridge Network members - which she started in January 2005 - Microsoft Office-ionado Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'.  This week she describes how to spot the difference between two documents in Microsoft Word.

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Has anyone ever returned a draft document stating "I've made a few changes" but they forgot to switch on Track Changes? No need to panic... Word has a nifty feature to spot the differences between two documents.

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.)

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


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

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