Compare and combine documents in Microsoft Word

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
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Compare and Combine are two very useful features of microsoft Word but rarely used by most of us due to our unawareness of these features. These features allow us to compare two documents and find the difference between them. So first let's see some situations in our daily work where we find their use.
In some cases we may have different versions of the same document. You may need to compare these different versions to see the changes between them. Or we may need to combine them to generate a final copy of the document. Using the compare function we can examine the changes made to each row even including a change in white space. Another application of these features is also provided in the preparation of our resume. We can usually have more than one copy of the resume prepared for various purposes or modified over time. Sometimes, if you want to compare or combine any two copies to create an up-to-date resume, the Compare and Combine feature can be of great use.



At first glance it may seem that these two characteristics are the same. But they have different functionality. The combine function actually allows us to find who made the changes in a document in addition to marking the changes. But the compare function only compares the differences in content between two documents.

Let's see now how we can use these features.

Compare documents in Word

1.Open Word and you can find the file Compare option in the review tab. Click on Compare.

2.Now from the menu select Compare option to compare any two documents.

3.The compare document dialog box will now appear. We need to select the two documents to compare. Select an original document and a revised document. Under the comparison settings we have several options that can be checked according to our preferences. Changes can be compared at the word or character level. It is best to choose the option to show changes in a new document to avoid confusion with the original documents.



4. By clicking OK, we will get a new document with the differences marked. In the sidebar we can see the number of insertions, deletions, moves and formatting changes. Any changes will be marked and well explained. In the new document, strikethrough text is deleted, red underlined text is added, and green text is moved.

5. By default we will have the original copy of the document selected and displayed in the right panel. We can scroll down the original document in the right panel and the new document with the changes marked will scroll accordingly. But we have another option to hide the original document. We can select this option from the review tab. Go to the Compare option in the Review tab -> Show Source Documents-> check the Hide Source Document option.

6.Now in the Tracking tab select the Balloons option and click on Show reviews in speech bubbles.

Now in the right panel we can see the revisions in the document marked in detail in the notification form of the comic. This provides easier review of changes in documents.

7.If you want to have a final copy of the document from the original and the revised copies, you can easily do so by editing the new document with all changes marked. In any change, right-click the row and choose whether to accept or reject the change. So we can add the changes we want and discard the unnecessary changes to create a final copy of the document.


Combination of documents in Word

The Combine function works similar to comparing. We have already seen the difference in their functions. Combine can be used to combine two versions of a document to create a final copy of the document. When we use Combine to generate a new document, all changes in the revised document become tracked changes identified by the authors who made the changes.


Now let's see how to use the combine function:

1. On the Review tab, select the Compare option and click Combine.

2. In the Combine dialog box, select the original and revised copies of the documents to combine. Adjust the settings according to your preferences and click OK.

After that you will get the same layout as before in the compare option. You can view the changes, right-click and choose whether to accept or reject the change. This way you can generate the new revised document.

Hope you have a clear idea of ​​the comparison and combination features. Use these useful features to simplify your work and save time.

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