Word 2010 document version comparison in SharePoint 2010

I don’t generally do a lot of typical document management in my day to day role, usually, once I’ve written a document and it’s issued to a client, then that’s that and it’s onto delivery or project work or something similar.

Just recently however, I had a need to go back through the “nitty gritty” of a document and understand what the fundamental changes were between the various versions that I had in SharePoint.

As I have version history turned on in this library, it’s very easy to see the old versions of the document and then compare them side by side on a large monitor. However the easiest way is to use Word’s inbuilt version comparison tool which in conjunction with SharePoint 2010 becomes a very powerful tool indeed!

We start by opening the current version of the document from the library in edit mode. Then in the ribbon click on the review tab.


Then select the drop down arrow under compare and choose specific version


The resulting window should look very familiar as the data is fresh out of the SharePoint library. In this case I chose the version from 2 saves ago.


Word opens up the older version of the document, and then brings up the comparison screen, highlighting the differences between the two documents.


At this point, I was happy, I had been able to see what was removed without resorting to track changes and could report my findings. I’m sure there’s a lot more that this comparison tool can do, but that’s for another day.


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