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Sep 18

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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

Paul.

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