Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Comparing Document Versions.

Comparing Document Versions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 25, 2017)

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. The way you compare documents depends on the version of Word you are using. Follow these steps if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:

  1. Load the newer version of the document into Word.
  2. Choose the Compare and Merge Documents option from the Tools menu. Using a dialog box that is very similar to a standard Open dialog box, you are prompted for a filename to use for the comparison.
  3. Select the file to which you want to compare the document.
  4. Click on OK.

If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, you follow these steps:

  1. Load the newer version of the document into Word.
  2. Choose Track Changes from the Tools menu. Word displays a submenu.
  3. Choose the Compare Documents option. You are prompted for a filename to use for the comparison.
  4. Select the file to which you want to compare the document.
  5. Click on OK.

Regardless of the version of Word you are using, when the comparison is done the document contains revision marks to indicate what has changed. Typically, new text is underlined and deleted text is struck through.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1656) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Dictionary Shortcut Key

Need a quick way to display the dictionary or other grammar tools? Use one of the handy built-in shortcuts provided by Word.

Discover More

Flipping a Drawing Object

Don't like the way a drawing object looks? Perhaps flipping the object could help appearances. Excel allows you to flip ...

Discover More

Copying Fill Color in a Table

You may spend some time getting the color in a portion of a table just right, only to be faced with the task of copying ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Creating an Executive Summary

Word includes an "executive summary" tool that allows you to automatically summarize a document. This tool provides a ...

Discover More

Creating Labels

Using Word to create and print labels is a snap. All you need to do is provide the text you want on the labels, pick a ...

Discover More

Changing Label Printing Order

If you want to change the order in which labels are printed when doing a mail merge, Word doesn't provide many options. ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 eight more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.