How to Compare Documents in Google Docs

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How to Compare Documents in Google Docs

Sometimes we need to compare two copies of a written text to identify differences and determine how one differs from the other. You may simply compare papers online on Google Docs thanks to a new tool provided by Google lately.

The Compare Documents tool is one of Google Docs’ lesser-known and hidden capabilities. It is a useful function, similar to MS Word, that allows users to examine the changes between two documents in one place.

What Is the Google Docs Comparison Feature?

Document owners and those with edit access can use the Google Document Comparison feature. This feature is extremely useful for tracking the progress of documents and seeing how they’ve changed as a result of edits. It is useful for many education and business applications and can be used during complex editing situations involving multiple users.

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For example, teachers can take the help of this feature to compare essays and track revisions, thus saving their time while grading. They can even check if the essays have been copied or are just slightly similar.

How to Compare Documents in Google Docs

Google Docs will open a new document when comparing two different documents. The new document illustrates all the existing suggested edits from both copies. It shows differences between the two Google Docs as suggested edits in the new document.

The two documents required to be compared must be in the Google Docs format. If you have any Word or other files, they need to be opened in Google Docs first.

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Sign in to Google Docs and open the first document you wish to compare.

Select Compare Documents from the Tools menu on the document.

A little dialog box will show on the screen, allowing you to choose another document from your Drive to compare to the initial one that was opened.

For the comparison, there are two possibilities. Changes may be made directly in the document, or comments can be included so that another user can go back and make changes.

When you’ve decided, click Compare to proceed and Open when the comparison is finished.

A new tab in your browser will open, displaying a page called Comparison of with both document names. The new document will be saved to your Google Drive by default. You may change the name of this document and store it in any folder you choose.

Related: Common Google Drive Issues (And How to Solve Them)

The new paper presents all of the comparisons in two ways. There are strikethroughs of the original text in the document, as well as comments on the side of the paper. Simply choose Comment and enter a remark in the Reply box to make comments on the modifications.

When you click on the changed text, the appropriate remark will appear in the document’s right pane. Similarly, if you click a remark, the text corresponding to the comment will be highlighted on the left.

The comparison document is instantly saved as a new document that can be readily discovered on Google Docs. However, you may combine the two versions to make a final draft. There’s a helpful option that allows you to Accept or Reject all changes, which will either make or erase the modifications and remove the comments.

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If the Compare Documents tool is greyed out, it is because the document you opened was not created in Google Docs format. To fix the format, go to File, then Save as Google Docs.

How to View Documents Side by Side in Google Docs

While Google Docs does not explicitly allow you to compare two documents, there is a workaround.

Right-click the tab where you opened the document and choose Move tab to another window from the drop-down menu. If you’re using a different operating system or don’t see this option, drag the tab into a new window manually.

While still in one window, hit the Windows + Right arrow keys on your keyboard to move the window to the right side of the screen. Press the Windows + Left arrow on the other window to move the second document to the left side of your computer screen. If you don’t have a Windows device, you may manually rearrange the windows.

Your screen will display two papers, one on the right and one on the left. You may now read both papers at the same time.

Spot Changes Easily With the Comparison Feature in Google Docs

When you have two comparable papers and aren’t sure what the differences are, Google Docs’ comparison function comes in helpful.

Whatever your purpose for comparing documents, Google Docs lets you do it from the same window.

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