How to Compare Two Word Files and Find the Differences

Word document comparison involves cross-checking new document versions against previous ones to identify changes that different contributors made. The changes can be a word, clause, paragraph addition or omissions, grammatical changes, or formatting modifications. When writing quality guest posts, you may need to compare two documents to avoid duplication. Herein is how to compare two word files and find the differences

Manual word document comparison is tedious and time-consuming, especially with very long documents or several documents to be worked on, and you may miss something. That’s why some tools offer such functionality. Just like this website can help you scan through multiple resumes and filter ideal candidates.

Many people are challenged with Word document comparison every day, and in this article, we will look at two ways to compare Word files and identify their differences.

Using Microsoft Word’s Compare Feature

Microsoft Word offers a Compare feature that allows you to compare two documents and show changed fragments. This feature creates a new document by default but does not change the original document.

To use this feature, you need to:

• Open Microsoft Word.
• Navigate to the Review tab and from the Compare group, click the Compare button.
• From the drop-down menu that appears, click Compare. You Should see a Compare Documents dialog box with Original Document and Revised Document groups.
• Choose the Original document using the drop-down arrow displayed.

You locate your word document by clicking Browse or going to the Folder where it is located. If you want to specify comparison settings for what you wish to compare or expand the dialog box, click on More, then click OK.

A revised document means a document with some changes similar to the original. You get this document from the section tagged Revised Document using the same process and then clicking OK.

Microsoft then opens this other document in a comparative interface with four sections:

• You should see the text list from the Revisions section (left pane), which may be inserted, changed, or deleted in the revised document.
• The Compared Document section shows the specific areas where someone made changes.
• You should also see your two documents in two small panes.

Essentially, the Revision section is a bar for navigating the Compared Document section. Selecting any phrase or text from the revision section automatically takes it to the location of the clicked text. The Compared Document section displays a red line close to part of the text.

To see what someone may have added or deleted:

• Navigate to the Review tab, and from the drop-down arrow, click Display for Review, then select All Markup (this option showcases every change made to the original document in red color).
• You should see two interfaces- the Original Document and the Revision Document. If you scroll down, you can spot any existing differences. If any changes are tracked, a message box is displayed. You click Yes to accept them and compare the documents.

Note: If you proceed to work with a third (new) document, you must save it since Word does not automatically save it.

If you want to compare changes several reviewers have made, go to Compare and select Combine from the drop-down list.

An Alternative Way to Compare Two Word Documents

Microsoft Word’s Compare feature already exists in Word versions but may be challenging for some people to use. You may be overwhelmed to see several document versions on one screen. However, Draftable can help you make the document comparison a lot easier.

The Draftable tool has several features that make your work easier. Draftable works seamlessly with any Microsoft Word version and is ideal for organization document comparison. It saves costs and time and reduces embarrassing errors. Copywriters and SEO specialists use this tool when comparing two pieces of content for SEO optimization.

The tool works by highlighting any document differences using red lines for you to find the changes faster. It redlines anything that was deleted and highlights any new changes. The tool’s side-by-side view helps you to track any document changes simultaneously. As you scroll, your documents remain synchronized.

With the Change list, you can see all the changes in one list. You only have to click on the change that interests you, and from there, you are taken to where it is your document.

Final Thoughts

Comparing two Word documents can be difficult if you do not have a straightforward approach. However, we have provided you with two methods to make your work easier. You only have to choose the most suitable method based on your needs.

Author’s BIO: Lori Wade is a journalist and content writer from Louisville. Lori creates news and informative articles about copyrighting, freelance, and creative writing. You can find her on LinkedIn.


Emebu BON is the publisher and senior admin of and its network of sites. He is a creative professional from Nigeria. He is a web designer that is dedicated to helping individuals and corporate bodies of all sizes register their presence online by setting up befitting website/blog for them.

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