How to Compare Two Word Documents and Highlight Differences Easily

How to Compare Two Word Documents and Highlight Differences

Ever wondered how to compare two Word documents and highlight the differences? It’s simpler than you think! By using Word’s built-in comparison tool, you can quickly spot changes between documents. Whether it’s tracking revisions in a project or collaborating with colleagues, this handy feature can save you tons of time. Here’s how you can do it step-by-step.

How to Compare Two Word Documents and Highlight Differences

In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps to compare two Word documents and highlight their differences. You’ll be able to see what’s been added, removed, or changed between the two files.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Open Microsoft Word on your computer.

Before comparing documents, make sure you’re using the latest version of Word to access all the features and tools.

Step 2: Go to the "Review" Tab

Navigate to the "Review" tab in the top menu.

The "Review" tab has all the tools you’ll need for comparing documents, including the "Compare" feature.

Step 3: Click on "Compare"

Click on the "Compare" button in the "Review" tab.

This will open a dropdown menu where you can choose to compare two versions of a document.

Step 4: Select "Compare…" from the Dropdown

Select "Compare…" from the dropdown menu.

This will open a new window where you can specify the documents you want to compare.

Step 5: Choose the Original and Revised Documents

In the new window, browse and select the original document and the revised document you want to compare.

You’ll see two fields: one for the original document and one for the revised document. Make sure to select the correct files to avoid any confusion.

Step 6: Click "OK"

Click the "OK" button to start the comparison.

Word will now compare the documents and highlight any differences.

After you complete these steps, Word will display a new document showing the differences between the original and revised documents. Additions, deletions, and changes will be clearly highlighted, making it easy to spot what’s new.

Tips for Comparing Two Word Documents and Highlighting Differences

  • Save Copies: Always save copies of the original and revised documents before comparing, in case you need to refer back to them.
  • Use Track Changes: Enable the "Track Changes" feature in Word to keep a record of edits as you make them.
  • Check Settings: Customize the comparison settings to focus on specific types of changes, like formatting or text.
  • Name Files Clearly: Use clear and descriptive file names to avoid mixing up documents.
  • Review Regularly: Regularly compare documents during projects to keep track of changes and revisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I compare more than two documents at once?

No, Word only allows you to compare two documents at a time. You’ll need to compare each pair of documents separately.

Will the comparison tool work with documents in different formats?

The comparison tool works best with Word documents (.docx). Other formats might not display differences accurately.

Can I edit the compared document?

Yes, you can edit the new document that Word creates after comparison. However, changes will be lost if you don’t save it separately.

How do I customize the comparison settings?

In the comparison window, click "More" to customize settings such as ignoring case differences or formatting changes.

Is there an online tool for comparing Word documents?

Yes, several online tools can compare Word documents, but using Word’s built-in tool ensures better accuracy and security.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Go to the "Review" tab.
  3. Click on "Compare".
  4. Select "Compare…" from the dropdown.
  5. Choose the original and revised documents.
  6. Click "OK".


Learning how to compare two Word documents and highlight differences is a valuable skill, especially for students, professionals, and anyone involved in collaborative writing projects. Whether you’re reviewing edits from a colleague or tracking changes in a personal project, knowing how to quickly and accurately compare documents can make your life a lot easier. Utilizing Microsoft Word’s built-in tools ensures that you don’t miss a thing, and you can confidently track every change.

As we’ve discussed, the process is straightforward: open Word, go to the "Review" tab, click "Compare", select your documents, and let Word do the rest. Additionally, following our tips can enhance your experience and help you get the most out of the comparison tool.

If you have any more questions or need further help, exploring Microsoft’s support pages or online tutorials can provide additional insights. Ready to become a document comparison pro? Give it a try today and see how much time you save!