Comparing documents in Word 2007

Posted July 7, 2010 in software  |  No Comments so far

Do you need to quickly find the differences between two large Word documents? Have you edited a large document only to realise you didn’t have Track Changes turned on?

The “Compare” feature in Word 2007 will find the differences between two documents and display them using the Track Changes view. Here’s how to use it…

Firstly, click the Compare button under Review. Then select the first of the two options.

You’ll then see something like this:

Click on the little folder icons next to the dropdown menus, then choose both the original document and the one you changed. It doesn’t matter which order you do it in.

When you have selected both your documents, the box titled “Label changes with” will become editable. If you type your initials here, changes will be attributed to you.

Then click OK and everything will change dramatically. You’ll see a panel on the left hand of the screen summarising the changes, and two panels on the right showing both the documents you selected:

But the exciting stuff should be in the big middle panel, which is titled “Compared document”. There, you should see precisely what would have happened if you’d been using Track Changes all along!

Stuff you added should be in red text and stuff you deleted should be crossed out. If you hold your mouse over any of the red text you should see a note about the change too.

Using the “X” buttons in the top-right of each panel, close all of the panels except “Compared document”. You will now simply be viewing the “track changes” document, so you can just save it and send it over. And that should be it! Just remember to turn on Track Changes if you have any more editing to do.

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