How to Compare Documents in Google Docs

How to Compare Documents in Google Docs

Google Docs is giving tough competition to Microsoft Word with its constant introduction of new features. One recent addition is the ability to compare documents. This feature is useful when collaborating with others on a document. The comparison feature represents changes as suggestions, making it easier to create a final document. It’s a useful tool for teachers and editors to compare before and after versions. Let’s see how to compare documents in Google Docs.

Compare Documents in Google Docs

To compare, you need two documents in Google Docs. To compare with a Word document, convert the DOCX to GDOC.

Step 1: Open the document you want to compare in Google Docs. Click Tools then select ‘Compare documents’. Step 2: In the pop-up window, click ‘My Drive’ to fetch the comparison document. Step 3: Find the comparison document using the four tabs (My Drive, Shared with Me, Starred, or Recent) or the search bar. Once you find the document, select it and click Open.

Step 4: Now, you’ll also have the option to attribute differences to a specific user. This is convenient when collaborating on a document or if the original author is someone other than yourself. To import the document with comments, mark the checkbox for ‘Include comments from the selected documents’ and click Compare. Then click Open when the comparison is ready.

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Note: The comparison time will vary based on the document size. For larger documents, such as contracts or reports with hundreds of pages, the comparison may take longer.

A new document will open in a separate tab, showing the differences between the two documents. Google Docs will automatically save it as ‘Comparison of [Document 1 Name] and [Document 2 Name]’.

View The Comparison

In the compared document, you’ll see the differences between the documents as highlighted text. Removed text will have magenta strikethroughs. In the right pane, you can see the changes and the person who made them. Each change appears as a suggestion in the document. You can either accept or reject the edit by clicking the checkmark or ‘X’ mark in the right pane. Additionally, you can view or add comments on a suggestion in the right pane by selecting it and using the ‘Reply or add others with @’ box. This is helpful for adding reasons for the change.

Bonus: How to View Google Docs Version History

Google Docs features a ‘Version history’ option, similar to Microsoft Word’s ‘Revision history.’ This tool allows you to access older versions of the document if needed. To revert to a previous version, follow these steps:

1. Open the Google Docs document.

2. Click on “File” in the menu bar.

3. Go to “Version history” and select “See version history.”

4. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H to quickly open the version history.

Step 2: In the right pane, you’ll see the list of available document versions with date, time, and the author’s name. You can click on a version to view it. To revert to a version of your choice, click the three-dot menu icon and select ‘Restore this version’ from the list.

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How to Compare Documents in Google Docs

The versions are displayed with highlighted and strikethrough text. To remove the changes, uncheck the ‘Show changes’ box. You can rename a version by clicking on the three-dot menu icon and selecting ‘Name this version’ from the list.

You can compare multiple versions of a document using the version history in Google Docs. This feature is easy to use, even for first-time users. Did you find this feature useful? If you did, check out these cool Google Docs tips and tricks to use it like a pro.

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