When editing a document, it is easy to lose track of what you\u2019ve changed between drafts. Wouldn\u2019t it be useful, then, if you had a quick and easy way of comparing two documents?\n\nGood news! There is one! Say \u201chello\u201d to the Compare function in Microsoft Word and read on below to find out how this works.\nWhat Is the \u201cCompare\u201d Function?\nComparing two documents produces a document with all of the differences between the original and revised version shown as tracked changes.\n\n[caption id="attachment_5194" align="aligncenter" width="504"] Tracked changes being shown in a document.[\/caption]\n\nAs well as edits to the text itself, you can use this function to look for differences in formatting or comments that have been added between drafts. This is especially useful when a document has been edited by a third party (e.g., a colleague or friend).\nComparing Two Documents\nTo compare two documents in Microsoft Word, all you need to do is:\n\n \tGo to Review > Compare on the main ribbon\n \tSelect Compare from the dropdown menu\n\n[caption id="attachment_5195" align="aligncenter" width="306"] The Compare function.[\/caption]\n \tChoose the original version of the document in the Original document section of the menu (click the file symbol or pick Browse from the dropdown if you cannot see the required document in the list)\n \tSelect the edited version from the Revised document menu\n \tSelect which changes you want to highlight and how you want them to be shown (we recommend displaying changes in a new document)\n \tClick OK to compare the documents and see the differences\n\n[caption id="attachment_5196" align="aligncenter" width="390"] The Compare menu.[\/caption]\n\nYou can then use the options under Review > Changes on the ribbon to review each edit. If you then make further changes to the revised version, you may want to save it as a fresh draft.\nThe \u201cCombine\u201d Function\nMicrosoft Word also offers the option to Combine documents. This is very similar to Compare, but it is designed for use with documents that already contain tracked changes.\n\n[caption id="attachment_5197" align="aligncenter" width="332"] The Combine function.[\/caption]\n\nFor example, imagine you have a press release draft that has been redrafted by two colleagues in your office using the Track Changes option in Microsoft Word. You could then use Combine to merge the different drafts of the document into one, while still being able to see who made each edit.\n\nThis option is therefore useful if you have a document that has been edited by several reviewers. However, for situations involving only two versions of a document, Compare is fine.