How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Document comparison can be tough. The legal blackline feature in Microsoft Word makes it a lot easier to compare documents.

The term “legal blackline” comes from the legal profession where lawyers need to compare two documents. Usually it applies to contracts, but this essential Microsoft Word skill applies to any kind of document.

Comparing two documents side-by-side by eye can be laborious and prone to error. Microsoft Word has a better way tucked inside the Review pane. By the way, this is different than accepting changes and removing comments in Word.

How to Compare Microsoft Word Documents

The legal blackline feature compares two documents and shows you only what changed between them. The legal blackline comparison is displayed by default in a new third document.

  1. Launch Microsoft Word. Open the two documents that you want to compare.
  2. Go to the Ribbon > Review > Compare group > Click on Compare.

If you selected a new document, Microsoft Office Word opens a third document with the Reviewing Panes on display. Any tracked changes in the original document are accepted, and changes in the revised document are shown as tracked changes. You can control the tracking display from Ribbon > Review > Tracking Group.

What about Microsoft Excel files? Well, there are also methods to compare multiple sheets in Excel. You can also use these Mac file comparison tools.

The command prompt is still a powerful Windows tool. Here are the most useful CMD commands every Windows user needs to know.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Saikat Basu is the Deputy Editor for Internet, Windows, and Productivity. After removing the grime of an MBA and a ten year long marketing career, he is now passionate about helping others improve their storytelling skills. He looks out for the missing Oxford comma and hates bad screenshots. But Photography, Photoshop, and Productivity ideas soothe his soul.

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How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

You can easily compare documents in Word to note changes between them. One of the most commonly performed tasks in the legal profession is creating a legal blackline document. The terms “redlining” or “comparing documents” are two other ways to refer to this. When you compare documents in Word, you can show only the changed content between the two copies in a third, separate document.

Many legal professionals use this feature when reviewing contracts to note the revisions between two copies of a contract. This lets you create and compare multiple copies of a legal document, noting changes between the original, the first draft, the second draft, and so on. This helps you keep all copies of the drafts for historical purposes. It also shows the changes made and who requested the changes. This lesson shows how to compare documents in Word to create a legal blackline document.

To compare documents in Word, first open the two documents to compare in Microsoft Word. Then click the “Review” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Compare” drop-down button in the “Compare” button group. Then select the “Compare…” command from the button’s drop-down menu to open the “Compare Documents” dialog box.

In the “Compare Documents” dialog box, then select the name of the original document from the “Original document” drop-down menu. If you didn’t open the original document before opening the “Compare Documents” dialog box, you can select the document to use by either clicking the “Open” button that appears as a folder icon at the right end of the drop-down menu or by selecting the “Browse…” command from the drop-down menu’s listing of document choices. Microsoft Word then displays the “Open” dialog box, which you can use to find and open the original document.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Compare Documents in Word- Instructions: A picture of a user comparing two documents in Word within the “Compare Documents” dialog box.

Next, use the “Revised document” drop-down to select the name of the revised copy of the document from the drop-down menu. You can also use the “Open” button or the “Browse…” command with the “Revised document” drop-down, just as with the “Original document” drop-down if you did not open the revised document before opening the “Compare Documents” dialog box.

Next, underneath the “Revised document” drop-down, enter the name with which to label changes in the resultant legal blackline document into the “Label changes with” text box, if needed.

Then click the “More >>” button to display all of the options for creating the legal blackline document at the bottom of the dialog box. Any changes you make here are saved as the new default settings for creating a legal blackline document in the future. By default, Word shows changes on a “Word level” in a “New document.” These are the recommended settings. However, you have the flexibility to change them, if needed. After reviewing the settings, click the “<< Less” button to set the options and hide them again.

Then click the “OK” button in the “Compare Documents” dialog box to compare the documents and then create the resultant legal blackline document within Microsoft Word. The original document and the revised document also appear at the right side of the screen. The compared document appears in the center of the screen. Any revisions appear in the “Revisions” pane at the left side of the screen.

Compare Documents in Word: Instructions

  1. To compare documents in Word, open the two documents to compare.
  2. Click the “Review” tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Then click the “Compare” drop-down button in the “Compare” button group.
  4. Then select the “Compare…” command from the drop-down menu to open the “Compare Documents” dialog box.
  5. Select the name of the original document from the “Original document” drop-down menu.
  6. If you forgot to open the original document before opening the “Compare Documents” dialog box, select the document by either clicking the “Open” button at the right end of the drop-down menu or by selecting the “Browse…” command from the drop-down menu.
  7. Then, in the “Open” dialog box that appears, find and open the original document.
  8. Use the “Revised document” drop-down to select the name of the revised copy of the document from the drop-down menu.
  9. You can also use the “Open” button or the “Browse…” command with the “Revised document” drop-down, if you forgot to open the revised document before opening the “Compare Documents” dialog box.
  10. Under the “Revised document” drop-down, enter the name with which to label changes in the resultant legal blackline document into the “Label changes with” text box, if needed.
  11. To show all the options for comparing documents at the bottom of the dialog box, click the “More >>” button.
  12. Any changes you make are saved as the new default settings.
  13. To set the options and hide them again, click the “<< Less” button.
  14. When finished, click the “OK” button.
  15. The original document and revised document appear at the right side of the screen.
  16. The compared document appears in the center of the screen.
  17. Any revisions appear in the “Revisions” pane at the left side of the screen.

Compare Documents in Word: Video Lesson

The following video lesson, titled “ Using the Compare Feature ,” shows you how to compare documents in Word. This video lesson is from our complete Word for lawyers tutorial , titled “ Mastering Word Made Easy for Lawyers v.2019 and 365 .”

Michael Crider
How to use microsoft word’s compare featureMichael Crider
Writer

Michael Crider is a veteran technology journalist with a decade of experience. He spent five years writing for Android Police and his work has appeared on Digital Trends and Lifehacker. He’s covered industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress in person. Read more.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

If you’re on a collaborative team of workers, or you’re simply dealing with several revisions of your own work, it’s important to be able to track incremental changes. In Microsoft Word, the ability to compare every difference in two nearly-identical documents is built in to the Compare tool. Here’s how to use it.

First, open Word and any document file. (It can be one of the ones you’re comparing, another document entirely, or simply a blank project.) Click the “Review” tab at the top of the screen to open the ribbon menu, then click the “Compare” button—it will be near the right side of the menu.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Click “Compare” again if another menu opens. Then in the new window, select your two documents: the “Original” (or earlier) document, and the “Revised” (or later) document. If you don’t see either in the dropdown menu, click the folder icon on the right to browse to the document using your file browser.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Under “Label changes with,” you can set a note to help you keep track of which difference belongs to which document. Here I’m going to label mine “later” since it’s the latest revision of the manuscript. You can only add a tag to the revised document, but you can switch between them with the double-arrow icon.

Click the “More” button to see advanced option. Most of these are self-explanatory, and all options are enabled by default. Note the “Show changes at” option, which shows individual changes either one character at a time (very slow) or one word at a time.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Click “OK.” Word will open up a complicated-looking selection of panes in a single document. From left to right, you have an itemized list of changes, a full view of the “Revised” document with red marks on the left margin indicating changes, and a double pane showing the original and revised documents stacked. Scrolling with your mouse wheel will scroll all three of the primary panes at once, but you can use the scroll bars on the right of each to scroll the individual panes to each.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

The Revisions pane is the most useful here. It shows each change, what was removed, and what was added, in order from the top of the document to the bottom. It’s a fantastic way to see the differences in the text and formatting at a glance. Clicking on any of the entries in the Revisions pane will instantly scroll the other panes to the relevant position. Neat!

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Once you’ve used the Revisions tab to find the specific revision, you can right-click on the relevant text in the center pane. Click “Accept” or “Reject” (followed by the corresponding action) to keep or revert the change, respectively.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

You can save this compared document as a separate file that won’t affect either of the documents you’re currently viewing. Just click File>Save as, and save it like any other Word document.

Note that the Compare feature isn’t available if either document has password protection or its changes are protected in Word. You can change this setting in the individual documents by clicking Review>Track Changes.

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How to use microsoft word’s compare feature Michael Crider
Michael Crider is a veteran technology journalist with a decade of experience. He spent five years writing for Android Police and his work has appeared on Digital Trends and Lifehacker. He’s covered industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress in person.
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There are many reasons that you may need to compare two Microsoft Word Documents. Maybe you have ended up with two different versions of the same document due to simultaneously editing, or you work in the legal profession and are required to create a legal backline document.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

For whatever reason, you have two or more Word Documents and don’t have the time (or the sanity) to manually compare them.

In this post we will walk you through the best way to compare two Microsoft Word Documents, saving you a whole heap of time and frustration. It’s as easy as a click of a button!

Comparing two Word Documents

Microsoft Word does have a built-in document comparison tool called ‘Compare’. The tool allows you to compare two Word Documents at once, highlighting any changes or differences between the two, leaving you to edit, approve and accept the changes.

You may not want to merge the documents together if you are reviewing a contract and simply need to see what was changed between the two versions you can review this by following the first few steps below and not making any further changes.

If you would like to merge the documents, follow the steps below and continue moving your approved changes across into a ‘Master File’. Before saving this as a new version.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Steps to compare two Word Documents using Word Compare

  1. Open Word
  2. Open one of the Word Documents you want to compare
  3. Click Review in the menu
  4. Find and Click Compare under Tools
  1. Click Compare Documents
  1. Under Original Document, select the original word file (or one of the word files)
  2. Under Revised Document, select the document you wish to compare to the document selected above
  1. Select a label for the changes (optional)
  1. Click OK

Microsoft Word will now merge the two documents and highlight all changes on the revised document file. The original Copy will be shown, untouched.

A third version will appear, this is your ‘Master Version’ and the file that will reflect any of the changes you accept or reject from the revised document.

Looking for an easier way to compare Word Documents?

You’re not alone, although Microsoft’s Word Compare is very assessable (already exists in your version of Microsoft Word) it’s clunky and not very user friendly. It’s overwhelming to see three versions of your document on the same screen, referring between the original document and revised document to see what changed.

Because so many of us face this problem every day, there are now some pretty amazing, purpose-built tools out there to make comparing Word Documents a whole lot easier.

Introducing Simul Docs, a tool built with easy document comparison, collaboration and version control in mind. It’s a simple, user-friendly tool that works seamlessly with your current version of Microsoft Word.

Simply drag and drop your two documents into Simul and press ‘compare’ in the click of a button Simul will merge the two files and highlight any difference for you to accept or decline.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Simul will also manage the version control side of things for you because sometimes you do need to refer back to an older version or you are required by law to keep these versions saved. By dropping a document into Simul, Simul will automatically give the document a version number such as 0.0.1. Then saving all future versions, in order without you even asking.

When you compare two files and merge (optional) the together Simul would have not only saved the original and revised documents as separate versions but also give the new file a trackable number so you won’t save over a thing.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

If you are a legal professional, or someone that is often required to compare files using a purpose-built tool such as Simul Docs can save you a lot of valuable time. With the bonus of built-in version control and so much more, Simul was built to help you collaborate better.

Unless you’re a Microsoft Word expert, you may not have come across the ‘compare’ function. But it can be very useful when editing a document or redrafting an essay. As such, we thought we’d provide a quick guide to how it can be used.

What Is the Compare Function?

As the name suggests, you can use the ‘Compare’ function in Microsoft Word to highlight the differences between two versions of the same document. Essentially, all it does is take two copies of a document and marks changes as if they were made using ‘Track Changes’.

How to use microsoft word’s compare featureThe ‘Compare’ and ‘Combine’ options.

This can be useful if someone has edited your work without indicating the changes. In addition, it is handy if you’re working on an essay and need to check where you made changes to previous drafts.

Microsoft Word also features a ‘Combine’ function. This is similar, but it is designed to be used with documents that already have tracked changes in them.

How to Compare Documents

To compare two documents, you need to go to the ‘Review’ tab on the main ribbon. Once there:

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  • Go to ‘Compare’ and click the same option in the dropdown menu
  • In the ‘Original document’ box, select the older version of the document you want to compare (if it isn’t one of the listed documents, click ‘Browse’ to search for it)
    How to use microsoft word’s compare featureSelecting documents.
  • In the ‘Revised document’ box, select the edited version
  • Make sure ‘Word level’ and ‘New document’ are selected under ‘Show changes’ (these can be changed, but we find these settings work best in most cases)
  • Click ‘OK’ to compare the documents

This will produce a new document with all the edits highlighted. You can then review these changes using the options under ‘Tracking’ and ‘Changes’ in the ‘Review’ tab.

For more control, you can also change the ‘Comparison settings’ via the ‘Compare Documents’ dialog box. Insertions and deletions are always tracked, but you can, for example, turn off ‘Comments’ here if you don’t want comments from the edited document to be included in the new version.

Once you have compared documents, simply make any further changes or revise any of the edited sections as required. Next, accept the changes and save the edited document. Voila!

The legal blackline option compares two documents and displays only what changed between them. The documents that are being compared are not changed. The legal blackline comparison is displayed by default in a new third document.

If you want to compare changes from a number of reviewers, do not select this option. Choose Combine revisions from multiple authors into a single document instead.

Open the documents that you want to compare.

On the Review tab, in the Compare group, click Compare.

Click Compare two versions of a document (legal blackline).

Under Original document, browse for the document that you want to use as the original document.

Under Revised document, browse for the other document that you want to compare.

Click More, and then select the settings for what you want to compare in the documents. Under Show changes, choose whether you want to show character or word level changes.

If you do not want to display changes in a third document, choose which document you want the changes to appear in.

Important: Any options that you select under More will be the default options for comparison the next time you compare documents.

If either version of the document has tracked changes, Microsoft Word displays a message box. Click Yes to accept the changes and compare the documents.

Microsoft Office Word displays a new third document in which tracked changes in the original document are accepted, and changes in the revised document are shown as tracked changes.

Word has two really useful features that almost no one ever uses: Compare Documents and Combine Documents. As their names imply, the features let you either compare two Word docs against each other or combine two together.

So when would you ever need to use this? Well, if you’re like me, you probably have 20 different versions of your resume saved in various locations over the years. Sometimes I modify a resume slightly for a particular company to stress a particular skill or sometimes I’ve added stuff and just saved a new copy.

Anyway, it would be nice to quickly see the difference between my latest resume and older ones to see if there is something I should add to the latest one or possibly remove. In this post, I’ll show you how you can use these two features to quickly find differences between two documents and merge them if you like.

Compare & Combine Documents

In my example, I wanted to see what the difference was between my old resume written in 2007 and the latest one updated in 2013. To do this, open Word, click on the Review tab and then click on Compare.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

This will bring up the Compare Documents dialog box where you need to pick your original document and revised document.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

At the bottom, you’ll see a whole slew of comparison settings, which you can just leave all checked. By default, it will also show all the changes in a new document, which is better than messing with your original or revised documents.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

A new document will open with several different sections: a scrollable list of revisions on the far left, the combined document showing all changes in the middle and the two original documents on the right hand side. Let’s take a closer look at each section.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

As you can see here, I’ve deleted a few things and inserted a couple of other lines of text. If you double-click on any of the headings (Aseem Kishore Inserted or Aseem Kishore Deleted), it will move the cursor to that exact position in the document.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

In the center, you will see these revisions in various colors. By default, anything with a strike-through is what has been deleted and anything in red and underlined is what has been added to the revised document. Anything in green has been moved around. The place where it was moved from will be double strike-through green and the place where it has been moved to will be double underlined green as shown here:

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Finally, on the right hand side, you’ll see the original document at the top and the revised document down below. As you scroll the top document, the bottom one follows along so that they are in sync. You can scroll the bottom one independently of the top screen, though.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

In addition to this view, you can also remove both the source documents from the right pane and instead show balloons to easily see the changes. To see what I mean, go ahead and click on the Compare button again, then on Show Source Documents and finally click on Hide Source Documents.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Now click on the Show Markup button under Tracking and click on Balloons and then Show Revisions in Balloons.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

On the right hand side of the document, you’ll now see all the revisions with lines coming from the document. This can make it easier to see all the changes if you have a lot of them.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Note that if you just want to see the differences between the documents, then you really don’t have to do anything else. If you want to create a final document from these two documents, you can right-click on any change and choose to Accept or Reject.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Once you have finished, you can save the new document with all the changes you made. Combine Documents is pretty much exactly the same as Compare. If you choose Combine, you’ll get the same dialog where you have to choose the original and revised document.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Once you do that, you’ll get the same layout as before where you see the combined changes in the middle. Again, strikeout text is deleted, red underlined text is added and green text has been moved. Just right-click on each change and choose whether to accept or reject each change. When you are done, save the new combined document.

Overall, these are really useful for times when you have multiple versions of the same document or when several people edit one Word document and you end up with multiple documents to combine into one. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!

Founder of Online Tech Tips and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio

Whether you’re collaborating with your team on a Microsoft Word Document or you’ve ended up with two versions of your own work, you are now trying to find the best way to compare these two documents in a swift and easy manner.

Luckily, there are 4 different ways that you can compare Microsoft Word Documents. Each coming with some pretty huge positives and negatives, some are better suited to the individual and others to large businesses.

In this post, we will breakdown each option and leave you well equipt to decide which best suits your task or team.

1. Use a dedicated collaboration tool

With so many of us facing the same issues when trying to compare Microsoft Word Documents, dedicated collaboration tools such as Simul Docs were built with collaboration in mind.

With Simul, you can easily compare two documents. Upload the documents from your computer or from cloud storage services like Sharepoint, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box or Google Drive.

Simul will then highlight the differences between the documents, allowing you to accept or reject each change.

Once you have reviewed the documents, simple press ‘Merge’ and the two documents seamlessly become one new version.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

The only downside in using a collaboration tool is the additional cost. Most tools charge a fee per month or per user and while often a small fee, this may not fit within all companies budgets.

On the plus side, these tools make collaborating and comparing Microsoft Documents as simple as a click of a button. They not only save you time but provide solutions to other common problems such as version control and collaboration. Simul Docs also allows you to share and compare documents with people outside of your company with ease.

2. Use a dedicated compare tool

Many professionals require a dedicated tool to compare word documents. Tools such as Workshare and ComparePro are tools that allow you to compare two or more Word Documents and more.

Workshare, for example, offers you the ability to compare two Powerpoint presentations, excel documents and PDF files. Workshare also has other functionality that comes as a part of your subscription, such as Metadata, a metadata management solution and more.

Similar to the dedicated collaboration tools such as Simul Docs, compare tools make comparing work documents easy and were built with this issue in mind.

The main difference between two two is the price and the additional functions, Workshare provides security functions while Simul provides a full set of functions that assist you with seamless collaboration.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

The Con of a comparison tool such as Workshare or ComparePro is the price. They offer subscriptions per user, not per document so you pay the full $300/annum to access the tool. This doesn’t provide much value for the occasional user.

Did we mention that the $300/annum only gives you access to the compare function as well, you pay for each tool separately which can add up quickly for any business!

The Pros of a comparison tool are that they were purpose build to help you compare documents and offer comparisons on more than just Word. They also offer other tools such as security and transaction assistance if your company required it.

3. Use Microsoft Word’s default ‘Compare’ feature

Because this is a problem so many of us face, Microsoft created a built in feature that allows you to compare two-word documents, ‘Compare’.

By opening a blank word document, then clicking through the Tool bar > Review > Compare > Compare. Word will place both documents side by side within Word and allow you to review any differences or changes.

Work picks up on all changes, highlights them and lets you know how many ‘differences’ there are between the documents.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

The challenging parts of using Word Compare is its clunky and doesn’t provide a very user-friendly experience. When you have the two documents open next to each other, Word shows this on a split screen and creates a Master document in the centre – there is a lot going on in front of you and changes aren’t easy to see and accept.

The positive is its free and already inbuilt into Microsoft Word.

4. Manually compare documents

Stripping it right back, you may opt to compare the documents manually. Open the two documents, place them side by side and review each line or sentence one at a time and manually highlight the differences or make changes.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

The Cons of this approach is time and user error. Depending on how many changes were made between the two documents you are comparing this could take hours. Manually comparing the two documents without the assistance of a tool can also result in changes being missed or overlooked. This option works best when you know there are only a few changes and are very familiar with the document yourself.

The Pros of a manual comparison is its free!

To Sum it up…

There are some fantastic tools and options available to you when trying to diff two Microsoft Word Documents. What’s best for your team will come down to how often you are trying to compare documents, the size of your team and your budget.

Dedicated comparison tools such as Simul Docs offer a free document trial, so it’s worth trying at least once to help you make the right decision. With Microsoft Compare already built into your Microsoft Word and the old fashion manual comparison free, you can try 3 of the 4 options above at no cost.

Regardless of how often you find yourself needing to diff two Word Documents, this doesn’t have to be a time consuming, frustrating issue anymore. Take your time, try the WordCompare tool and give the free trial at Simul Docs a go, as a starting point.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Do you have scanned documents and other files created sometime time back and archived, but you’ve retrieved those documents and you are wondering how you should edit its contents? This should worry you no more because the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature has made this possible. You can access this feature in most tools used in creating documents such as some of the Microsoft OCR tools. The OCR feature is not well known among Microsoft tools. With that regard, this article informs about Office Lens, MS Word, and Office 365 and the common issues involved with these OCR tools and how to fix them.

Does Office Lens Do OCR?

Office lens is one of the Microsoft tools which has been here for a while now and you can feasibly use it to digitalize documents in your cabinet and modify them right on an iOS device, Mac, or PC.

Office lens OCR uses the rear-facing camera on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to capture the image of any document. It then employs a complex scaling algorithm to straighten captured content and then allows sharing, exporting, or editing the content. Note that by default, it’ll save an image of the document but if you got Word installed on your iDevice too, you can even have the Office OCR export the image as a functioning Word document so you can edit the contents of that document right from your iOS device.

Without more ado, here is how to use Office lens OCR:

First, download Office OCR from the App Store and install it on your iDevice. Permit to access your camera and follow the following step-by-step guide to scan a paper document then edit it with Word for iOS.

Step 1: From the Microsoft lens OCR, navigate over the selector dial above the shutter button and select “Document”. Then point the camera on your iDevice towards the document with as clear of a shot of the text as possible, and watch carefully as Office lens OCR frames the document.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Step 2: Once the frames have accurately aligned with the document, simply tap on the “Shutter” button to snap a picture of the document, and Office Lens OCR will automatically scale the document and removes odd angles in the alignment. You can as well fine-tune the framing manually by clicking the “Cropping” button just to the left of the “Done” button.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Step 3: Once you complete framing the document, you’ll be served with several options of exporting the document. Select “Word” and Microsoft Lens OCR will start processing the scanned document and transforming it into DOCX file for word.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Step 4: After it has finished processing, Word will launch and download the file then process it. When the file is opened, edit it accordingly.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Common Issues of Office Lens OCR and the Solutions to Fix it

Office Lens OCR works fine but the problem comes when you have scanned huge data size at once. When you try processing these files to Word or Uploading to PDF you might come across “Couldn’t upload (tap to retry)”.

A solution to this is having a fast internet connection or tries avoiding working on large data sizes at a go.

Does Word have OCR?

Microsoft Word is a widely used tool by Windows users to make notes by directly tying on the program. But does Word have OCR? After hovering over and reading responses on Microsoft community forums, MS Word most probably fails to perform OCR. This has made it hard to create notes from the picture files.

Dating back to Windows 2003 and earlier, Microsoft Office Document Imaging (MODI) which is the same as OCR was a feature installed by default. It was able to convert the text in a scanned image to a Word document. However, it was removed in Office 2010 and it is yet to be brought back.

Does Office 365 have OCR?

Like Word, Office 365 OCR is not precisely defined. But, as tried with Word 2016 from Office 365 64-bit version 1711 on Windows 10, you can copy and paste a picture with text into a new Word document and save it as a PDF. Close the document and reopen the PDF into word. You’ll get a notification informing you it can be converted into text and warns it could change how it’s viewed. After which you can copy and paste the content as text.

However, that has failed to work on several occasions. With that we cannot say for a fact Office 365 has OCR.

Best Alternative to Microsoft OCR

PDFelement is a robust tool which you can use to work on PDF files in creating, formatting, and editing. Importantly, you can use PDFelement as the best alternative to Microsoft OCR and effortlessly modify picture files content.

  • Make text within images editable using OCR.
  • Approve and append signatures to documents digitally.
  • Process documents in a batch to convert, data extract, add bates number, and watermark.
  • Secure PDFs with password protection.
  • Convert PDF documents into Word, HTML, and image files.
  • Compare two PDF files to find out the differences quickly.
  • Quickly combine multiple PDFs into one.

Let’s take you through the manual on how to OCR PDF using the program:

Step 1: Import Document

You can import already created PDF files by clicking on “Open files” or “Create PDF” to make PDF of your documents first. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the upload process.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Step 2: Perform OCR

Once the PDF is uploaded, click the “Tool” tab from the menu bar. Again, click “OCR” to set the program to OCR mode.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Step 3: Settings for OCR

On the pop-up window, select “Scan to editable Text”. Define the language for the extracted PDF content by taping “Change Languages”. Optionally, customize pages of the extracted content by clicking “Customize Pages”. When you are done setting all this up click the “OK” button to start to OCR PDF.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Step 4: Edit Document after OCR

When the OCR PDF process is completed, the extracted text is displayed on a new window. Tap on the “Edit” tab on the top-right menu bar and set up appropriate settings. Then start editing and formatted extracted text to your satisfaction.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Have you been assigned the task to compare PDF and Word document to find the errors by your boss? Well, it is an easier task if the files contain 3-4 pages and can be done manually. But if you need to compare PDF to Word document that has tens and hundreds of pages, it may be a tough job and here you need a tool that compares Word and PDF automatically. For that purpose, we are going to add two methods to compare PDF and Word document. Let us find them below.

Method 1: How to Compare Word to PDF

In the first method, you need to compare PDF and Word document using PDFelement. Let us find the step-by-step tutorial below. To compare PDF and Word document, follow the below-given steps.

Step 1: Convert Word to PDF

Open the desired Word document file in PDFelement and convert it to PDF. For that, click “Create PDF”, locate and select the Word document in your PC, and click “Open” to open it. Once, it is opened, it will automatically be converted to PDF. Using this step, you cannot only convert the Word document to PDF but can also convert dozens of other formats to PDF and can compare them.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Step 2: Compare PDF and Word Document

Now, open the other PDF file which you need to compare with the converted PDF file. After the second PDF file is opened, click “View” > “Tile” icon > and select “Horizontally” or “Vertically”. If the PDF files have tables and images, then you should select horizontally while if there are no images or tables, you can select Vertically.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

Now, both the PDF files are opened horizontally with you and you can easily compare every single item of these PDF files.

To open and view multiple PDF files, alternatively, you can also drag and drop them anywhere on your screen for your ease. Similarly, you can also drag them back after you are done with the task. To drag and move the files, click and hold the document in the working pane, and move it towards down, it will automatically be opened in a new window. After you have compared the files, once again click and hold the document and drop it back to the original window.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

So, this is how you can compare Word document and PDF document with full control without using any other special tool. Undoubtedly, PDFelement is a valuable addition to whatever you do as it can take charge of most of your business-oriented tasks.

How to Compare PDF to Word Online Free

Alternatively, if you are looking for an online tool to compare PDF and Word document, we have got you a wonderful free online tool for that. Let’s explore it below.

There are a plethora of tools to compare PDF and Word documents online for free but we have found PDF24 Tools as the most reliable and user-friendly. Using PDF24 Tools, you can easily compare 2 different PDF files or a PDF file and a Word document for free. There are no limits and all the files you compare are processed securely. Not only this, PDF24 Tools is equipped with around 30 different PDF tools including converters, PDF compressor, and unlocker, etc.

How to use microsoft word’s compare feature

To compare Word and PDF online with PDF24 Tools, follow the below-given steps.

Step 1: Open the PDF files

Visit PDF24 Tools. As you can compare PDF files with this tool, you need to convert the Word document to PDF first in order to make it available for comparison. To convert the Word document to PDF, you can use PDFelement or the same site where you are currently. Once, both the PDF files are available, select and upload them by clicking on Choose File on PDF24 Tools. You can also import PDF files from Google Drive and Dropbox.

Step 2: Compare PDF files

Once both the files are uploaded, click “Compare”. Both the PDF files will be compared instantly and you’ll get all the comparisons or mistakes right there in your browser.

So, this is how you compare PDF and Word document with PDF24 Tools online for free. Interestingly, you don’t need to sign up or register to use this tool, also, you do not need to download any tool or add-on to use it.

Final Conclusion: Well, both the explained methods are good and you can use them to compare your files. But to use the online tool, the internet is a must, and without the internet, you won’t be able to use this tool. While PDFelement is downloaded on your PC or Mac and can be used without the need for the internet. Also, PDFelement is loaded of a plethora of many other advanced tools that literally eliminates the need for any other software.