Compare & Combine Functions In MS Word

Microsoft Word has few features which are not used frequently. Compare and Combine are two such functions. As the names suggest, Compare and Combine functions allows you to compare two versions of a document and combine two documents respectively.

So, the confusion is, when should these be used?

In order to use these functions, let us understand each one in details.

Using the Compare Function in Microsoft Word

Compare function allows you to compare two different versions of a document which has undergone some updates or revision.

Let’s understand this with an example.

A marketing person creates a document for the product description. This document is sent to another team member for review and updates. The team member makes some changes without tracking them and sends the document back to the first person.

Now, to quickly see what changes the other team member has made in the document, the marketing person can use the Compare function to compare the changes made.

To compare the two documents follow the steps below:

You may open any Microsoft Word document and click on the Review tab at the top of the screen.

Click on the Compare tab at the top right corner of the screen.

From the dropdown, select the Compare option.

 

 

When you click on the Compare option, a Compare Documents dialogue box will pop-up.

 

 

Here, you need to select the original and the revised documents that you want to compare.

You can leave the Label changes with option as it is.

When you click the More>>, it will further allow you to do some advanced Comparison settings.

You can deselect any option which you do not wish to have. By default, you will see all types of changes.

The Show changes section allows you to choose if want to see the changes in the original document, revised document or a new document.

By default, it changes will appear in a new document.

Click OK to compare the documents. The differences will be shown as tracked changes.

Using the Combine function in Microsoft Word

Combine function is pretty much same a Compare function. As the name implies, Combine function, lets you combine two different documents. This function is used to merge the changes into one document in a click.

To combine two documents follow the steps below:

You may open any Microsoft Word document and click on the Review tab at the top of the screen.

Click on the Compare tab at the top right corner of the screen.

From the dropdown, select the Combine option.

When you click on the Combine option, a Combine Documents dialogue box will pop-up.

Same like Compare function, here, you need to select the original and the revised documents that you want to combine.

Here also, you can leave the Label changes with option as it is.

When you click the More>>, this again will show some advanced Comparison settings.

You can deselect any option which you do not wish to have. By default, you will see all types of changes.

The Show changes section allows you to choose if want to see the changes in the original document, revised document or a new document.

By default, the changes will appear in a new document.

Click OK to compare the documents. The differences will be shown as tracked changes.

If the documents contain formatting changes, a pop-up will ask you which format to keep.

Select the one you want and click Continue with Merge.

The new document will show the combined version of the two documents that you selected initially.



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