Finding Duplicate Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 7, 2015)

2

Over the years Jon has saved many Word documents on his system. Some of those documents are duplicates of each other. He wonders if there is a way to locate duplicate documents, regardless of their name and the folder in which they may be stored.

This sort of searching is not something that can be done natively, within Word; you need to look outside the program for a solution. The first place you might want to look is within Windows itself, but even there you won't find an answer—the search capabilities of Windows aren't that great at determining what constitutes a "duplicate" file.

The best solution is to find and use a third-party utility program that can compare files. A search of the Internet will turn up lots of candidates; WordTips subscribers were quick to suggest utilities available at the following sites:

http://www.digitalvolcano.co.uk/duplicatecleaner.html
http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/duplicate-file-finder/
http://www.hardcoded.net/dupeguru/
http://doubles.sourceforge.net/

Each program (and many more like these) functions different and some have different bells and whistles than the others. You'll want to take some time to look around and find the right mix of features and cost. (All of the options I was able to find were very reasonable on cost, ranging from free to $25 or so.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13381) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Styles

Styles are a great boon to making your documents look better and making them easier to update. You can change the formatting ...

Discover More

Saving Custom Formats

While the implementation of custom formats in Excel is not terribly robust, you can still achieve some amazing results with ...

Discover More

Pulling Access Information into Excel

If you have a lot of data stored in Access databases, you may want to get at that information using Excel. There are a few ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Mirroring Documents

Have you ever wanted to have a Word document be accessible through two different folders? Here are several ways you can ...

Discover More

Embedding TrueType Fonts

If you need to make sure that the fonts in your document can be used by another person or on a different system, you'll need ...

Discover More

Converting Files to Word 2007 Format

Have a bunch of documents in the old Word 2003 file format? Here are some techniques you can use to get them all updated to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 5?

2015-03-10 12:18:42

Deb Fournier

How about using the search feature to search the drive for similar text within the documents? Like the name of the company or person? Or the name of the project or client? I've used this to find versions of revised documents searching different drives.


2015-03-07 12:47:03

Jon

Glad to know about these utilities. I see there is only one for Mac. Does anyone know any more?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.