The Microsoft Word 2016 application includes a powerful comparison tool that allows you to analyze the differences between two versions of the same document. The tool will produce a marked-up version of the file, with all differences highlighted as if they were normal Word tracked changes. As a reviewer, you can take the comparison version and choose to accept or reject each individual change.

Step 1:

Launch the Microsoft Word program on your Windows computer. Also, be sure to know the locations of the two Word documents you want to compare and have them named appropriately. Try to avoid giving the documents the same exact file name.

Step 2:

Double-click on the “Blank Document” template to open an empty Word window.

Step 3:

Go to the “Review” section of the ribbon at the top of the Word window.

Step 4:

Click on the “Compare” button in the ribbon toolbar and choose “Compare …” from the drop-down menu of options. A pop-up window will appear and prompt you to select the two documents you want to compare.

Step 5:

Click on the folder icon in the “Original document” section of the window and navigate to the older version of the document you want to compare.

Step 6:

Switch to the “Revised document” side of the window and choose the newer version of the same document.

Step 7:

Modify the “Label changes with” field to use whatever name or initials you want to have appear in the tracked changes list.

Step 8:

Click the “More” button to set advanced settings, such as choosing which types of changes should be analyzed during the comparison. For example, you can choose to ignore formatting changes or table data while comparing everything else in the documents.

Step 9:

Click the “OK” button when you are ready to run the comparison tool. A new document will be created with tracked changes analyzing the differences between the two versions you selected. As a reviewer, you can use the “Accept” and “Reject” buttons in the top ribbon to choose which content to keep in the new document.

To learn more about the compare tool in Word 2016, consult the Microsoft support knowledgebase.