Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Comparing Document Versions.

Comparing Document Versions

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 9, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word includes a tool that allows you to compare two documents to each other. The document in memory is marked with revision marks to indicate the changes from the document on disk. You perform a comparison in this manner:

  1. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Compare tool and then choose Compare. Word displays the Compare Documents dialog box.
  3. Click the More button, if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Compare Documents dialog box.

  5. At the top-left of the dialog box, click the file-folder icon to select your first file.
  6. At the top-right of the dialog box, click the file-folder icon to select your second file.
  7. Change the comparison settings, if desired.
  8. Click OK.

When the comparison is done, Word shows the original documents and the compared document, which contains revision marks (using familiar Track Changes markup) to indicate what has changed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9296) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Comparing Document Versions.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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