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. ...

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What is one less than 3?

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?


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