I have made changes to one copy of a document. I also have a copy of the original file. I would like to find out what I have changed. Is there a way to get Word to tell me?

(I am using Microsoft Word 2003. However, do include answers for other versions, in order to make this question as useful as possible to the community.)

  • Is it essential to use Word to determine the difference? To track text changes, an easy and accurate method is to copy into and save as 2 .txt files. You can then use VisualDiff, WinMerge or a similar tool to quickly ID changes between those two text files. – Dallas May 30 '13 at 5:04

The way I found to do this in Word 2003 is:

  • Open the recent version
  • Turn on "Track Changes" by clicking on Tools / Track Changes
  • Go to Tools / Compare and Merge Documents...
  • Select the old version
  • A new window opens containing the old version with all changes added and highlighted

The way to do this in Word 2010 is:

  • Open the two documents you want to compare
  • On the Review Tab in the Compare group, select "Compare two versions of a document"
  • Fill in the blanks
  • The default result is that a third document is created which is the original document with the changes made and highlighted.
  • See Word help file under "Compare documents with the legal blackline option"
  • 1
    Works in 2007 as well. – Kruug Apr 22 '13 at 20:20

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