Solo Tip Tuesday: Comparing Two Documents in Word

by Reba Nance on October 23, 2012

Regardless of your practice area, there are times when you want to compare two documents and see the changes made. There is software that does this, but it can be expensive. The next time you want to compare two documents, try the built-in functionality in Word 2007 or 2010. Here’s how:

Open Word and select Review (in the ribbon) and then Compare. Select Compare again.

There are two choices—You will want to select Compare two versions of a document (legal blackline).

The Compare Documents box will open. First, on the left, choose the original document. The drop-down arrow will show you the most recent documents you worked with. If you don’t see the document there, select the folder icon to browse for the document you want. Select More to choose more fields to compare (if you wish). Select OK.

Now choose which document is the revised document by using the same procedure and select OK.

A new window will open in the middle that shows the compared document with the changes redlined. As you scroll through this, the top right-hand part of the screen will show the original document and the bottom right-hand part of the screen will show the revised document. It’s easy to follow along because it automatically shows the same part of all three documents.

If you wish, you can save the compared document as a new document (just be sure to give it a unique name) and you will now have a separate red-lined document you can save and print!

It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Give it a try and you’ll see!

You can see this tip and others, on topics ranging from Outlook and Word help to App reviews and online tools, all here.

Longtime readers of the Colorado Bar Association’s C-Brief, its weekly eNewsletter, know each week there is a tip from Law Practice Management Director Reba Nance. Those tips are moving beyond the newsletter and now have a permanent home within the Practice Management section of CBA’s website. We’ll share some of the best tips each week here as Solo Tip Tuesday.

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