How to Compare Two Versions of a Document in Word 2013

You have the original copy of your Word 2013 document — the stuff you wrote. You also have the copy that Barbara, the vixen from the legal department, has worked on for a week or so. Both documents have different names, of course. Your job is to compare them to see exactly what’s been changed from the original. Here’s what to do:

1

Don’t open the original document just yet.

If you already opened the original document in anticipation of what comes next, go ahead and close it.

2

Click the Review tab.

You should see the Compare group.

3

From the Compare group, choose Compare→Compare.

The Compare Documents dialog box shows up.

4

Choose the original document from the Original Document drop-down list.

Locate the drop=down list to choose your document.

5

Choose the edited document from the Revised Document drop-down list.

In either case (in Step 4 or 5), when you cannot find the original or revised document, click the Wee Folder icon (shown in the margin) to browse for the documents you want to open.

6

Click OK.

Word compares the two documents and notes all changes. Then it displays a list of changes. You see the compared document with changes marked, plus the original and revised documents.

Look it over! Peruse the changes made to your pristine prose by the barbarian interlopers; use the Reviewing pane to witness each change individually. You can click a change in the Reviewing pane to quickly see which part of your document was folded, spindled, or mutilated.

It helps to use unique filenames for both documents. Choose filenames carefully. The person reviewing your document should follow suit, appending their name or the word edited or draft, for example, to the end of the filename. This strategy helps keep straight the different versions of a document.

Did this glimpse into comparing multiple versions of documents in Word 2013 leave you longing for more information and insight about Office 2013 applications? You're free to test drive any of the For Dummies eLearning courses. Pick your course (you may be interested in more from Office 2013), fill out a quick registration, and then give eLearning a spin with the Try It! button. You'll be right on course for more trusted know how: The full version's also available at Office 2013.

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