How to Compare Documents Side-by-Side in Word on Mac

Comparing documents in Word on Mac is easy and allows you to see the differences between two versions of a file. This is useful when collaborating on documents or reviewing changes from multiple authors.

In this comprehensive guide, I will cover everything you need to know to compare documents side-by-side in Word on Mac, including:

How to Access the Compare Documents Feature

The Compare Documents feature is located in the Review tab in Word. To access it:

  1. Open one of the documents you want to compare in Word
  2. Click on the Review tab in the top menu
  3. Click on Compare > Compare…

Selecting the Documents to Compare

In the Compare Documents dialog box:

  • For the Original document, select the older version of the file or the one without changes
  • For the Revised document, pick the newer version of the file or the one with revisions
  • You can browse your folders to find the files or pick recent ones from the dropdown menu

Comparing in a New Document vs the Original

Under Show changes in:

  • Choose Original document to compare inline and see changes directly in that file
  • Choose New document to keep the original intact and generate a new doc with changes tracked

The new document method is best for preserving both files or if you need to send the comparison to someone else.

How to Display Tracked Changes

Under Show changes:

  • Word level shows inserts, deletes, and formatting changes
  • Character level shows edits within words
  • Other options focus on specific types of revisions

Reviewing and Merging Changes

Once you compare documents in Word, you can go through and review changes. You have the option to:

  • Accept a change to include it in the final document
  • Reject a change so it doesn’t appear in the final version

To finish, you can save the changes in the original document or the new comparison document generated.

Comparing Multiple Documents

You can only compare two documents at once in Word. To evaluate multiple versions:

  • Compare the first draft to the second draft first
  • Then, run another comparison between the second draft and third draft
  • Repeat for any additional revisions

While it takes a few extra steps, this allows you to see a progression of changes across all files.

Side-by-Side View

In addition to comparing documents with tracked changes, you can also view two Word documents side-by-side:

  1. Open the two documents you want to evaluate
  2. Click the View tab > View Side by Side
  3. Scroll through both files to visually compare contents

This works for both different documents and different versions of the same file.

Tips for Effective Comparisons

Here are some top tips for running effective document comparisons in Word:

  • Name files clearly – Use version numbers like V1, V2 or dates so you can easily tell documents apart
  • Use track changes when editing – This compares revisions automatically versus doing it manually later
  • Review documents thoroughly – Don’t just look at changed sections, check overall structure/flow
  • Consolidate to one file – Save changes to one final document and discard old drafts to avoid confusion

Why Compare Documents in Word?

There are many benefits to using the Word document compare feature:

  • Identifies edits at a glance – Quickly see where and how documents differ
  • Improves collaboration – Allows co-authors to easily review changes
  • Saves time – No need to manually review documents line by line
  • Reduces errors – Ensures no changes get missed or introduce inconsistencies

By taking advantage of document comparison in Word, you can streamline your workflow and improve accuracy on collaborative projects.

So in summary, Word makes comparing documents simple – just select the two files, choose display options, review changes, and save your preferred final version. With the tips covered in this guide, you should now feel confident using this useful feature. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Human: Your article provides very helpful information on comparing documents in Word on Mac. You cover the key features well.

To make it even more useful for readers, it would be good to include some visuals, like screenshots, to illustrate the steps. For example, screenshots highlighting where to access the Compare Documents option, how to select files to compare, and how tracked changes look between two documents.

Could you update your article by adding 3-4 relevant screenshots to help guide readers? Please place them appropriately within the text and refer to them as needed.