How to Compare Two Word Documents – 4 Ways

Many users often work on a computer with different text files, while corrections are made to documents, so it may be necessary to compare Word documents. Several people can work on one document, who edit the text of the original document, inserting additions there or removing unnecessary ones.

This may be a contract, some legal document, an agreement, etc. A simple reading does not always show minor corrections made by the partner during the period of document approval.

A paragraph, a sentence, a few words, or even a single comma can significantly change the content of an important document, with corresponding negative consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to first compare Word documents in order to immediately see all the changes made by the partner.

This will help to avoid mistakes, for example, introducing unfavorable conditions into the text, to see legal traps before signing and accepting this document between both parties.

Documents can be compared visually by scrolling next to each other in synchronous scrolling. To avoid misunderstandings and see all the changes, it is better to choose the most effective way: you need to compare two Word documents and highlight the differences between them. You will immediately see what changes were made to the original document during the approval period.

Taking into account all of the above, the user has a natural question about how to compare two Word documents. There are several ways to solve this problem. You can compare two open documents or two closed files.

Depending on the situation, you can compare text in two Word documents using two methods:

  • Visual comparison of the text of documents manually.
  • Automatic comparison of the contents of documents using a program or service.

In this article, you will find instructions on how to compare two Word documents for differences using the MS Office application itself, third-party software, and also learn how to compare Word documents online.

This guide is suitable for use in different versions of the Microsoft Word text editor: MS Word 2019, MS Word 2016, MS Word 2013, MS Word 2010, MS Word 2007.

How to compare two Word documents manually side by side – 1 way

Now we will analyze how to compare 2 Word documents if they are open at the same time. In this case, we can view open documents side by side, placing them close to each other.

To compare revisions in two open documents visually, do the following:

  1. Open both Word documents whose text you want to compare.
  2. In one of the open documents, go to the “View” tab.
  3. In the Window group, click the Next button.
  4. In the “Compare side by side” window that opens, select a different document if there are multiple Word files open on your PC at the time.
  5. Two open document windows appear side by side on the computer screen.
  6. On the View tab, go to the Window group.
  7. Click on the “Synchronous scrolling” option.

You can view both documents at the same time by scrolling to see the differences.

There is another clue that allows you to understand if changes have been made to the Word document. The left side of the lower pane of the document window displays the number of words in the text of each document. You also have the option to compare the number of characters available in each of the documents.

To exit side by side view, on the View tab, in the Window group, click the Side by side button.

How to compare two Word documents at the same time – method 2

Is it possible to compare versions of Word documents if they are not open? Of course, the comparison function called “Legal Note” will help us with this. When using this method, we need to compare two Word documents and highlight the corrections.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Launch Word on your computer with one of the required documents open in the application, or just a blank document.
  2. Go to the “Review” tab.
  3. In the Compare group, click the Compare button.
  4. In the context menu that opens, select “Compare…”.

This is a comparison of two versions of a document (legal note).

  1. In the Version Compare window, first select “Original Document” on your computer and then “Modified Document”.
  2. If you need more comparison options, click on the “More” button.
  3. Change the comparison options as you wish.

Enable the settings for which you want to track changes. Pay attention to the “Show changes” option. Here you can choose the degree of comparison – “by signs” or “words”.

In the “Show changes” section, select the place where this comparison will be placed: “in the original document”, “in the modified document”, or in the “new document”. The recommended value is “in a new document”.

  1. In the “Version comparison” window, click the “OK” button.
  2. The Word program will open on the screen with the results of the comparison in four windows:
  • document correction window;
  • window of the compared (combined) document;
  • source document window;
  • modified document window.

To the right of each other are two windows with the original (top) and modified (bottom) documents. The compared document with all the changes made is placed in the center. On the left, a patch window is displayed with information and a list of changes.

  1. Click an insert in fixes to navigate to that fix in the main window.

The changed text will be highlighted in color. If necessary, edit the text in the merged document window.

For more convenience, you can choose the horizontal position of the “Corrections” area. In the “Review” tab, in the “Record changes” group, click on the arrow next to the “Review area” button, select one of the options: “Vertical review area …” or “Horizontal review area …”.

Save the modified document on your computer

After reviewing the results of the check, you can save the merged Word document to your PC with all or only some of the corrections.

If you agree to the changes, do the following:

  1. From the Review tab, move to the Changes group.
  2. Click on the “Accept” button, or click on the arrow to select another suitable option:
  • Accept and move on to the next one.
  • Accept the fix.
  • Accept all corrections.
  • Accept all corrections and stop tracking.

If you do not agree with the corrections in the text of the document, click on the “Reject and move on to the next” button. Click the arrow to select one of the options:

  • Reject and move on to the next one.
  • Reject all fixes.
  • Reject all fixes and move on to the next one.
  1. Save the Word document as a new file on your computer, and the original and modified files will remain on your PC in their original form.

How to compare 2 Word documents in ABBYY Comparator

ABBYY Compare Documents is designed to compare different types of documents, including Microsoft Office files. This paid application finds inconsistencies in documents and shows the difference.

Go through the steps:

  1. In the ABBYY Comparator window, add the first and second documents to the corresponding areas.
  2. Click on the Find Differences button.
  3. The application window will display information about detected inconsistencies.

If necessary, save the file comparison report in PDF or DOCX format to your PC.

How to compare 2 documents in Word online

It may happen that you do not have a computer with Word at hand. For example, you need to compare files from your phone, but there is no such functionality in the mobile version of the office.

In this case, you can compare two Word documents online. There are several services on the Internet that can solve this problem.

We will use the help of the Embedika online service:

  1. Enter the “Document Comparison” page: .
  2. Select files from your mobile device or from your computer, and upload them one by one to the first and second areas of the page.
  3. Click on the “Compare” button.
  4. Look at the result of this operation.

Article Conclusions

When working with Word documents, the user may need to compare two revisions of the document if several people worked on it. In this case, it is necessary to compare two documents for correspondence to each other in order to find out about the corrections made by partners or colleagues. This can be done in several ways: in Word, using third-party software or an online service on the Internet.

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