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Comparing Documents In Ms Word


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#1 BanditFlyer

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 12:30 PM

Hi All,

I've been searching for a Windows equivalent to the unix 'diff' program since the late 90's. Somehow, I never managed to find an answer until recently. I thought I might as well share what I learned, so here it is:

In Word 2000, go to tools -> track changes -> compare documents.

Here are a couple of refernces for your reading satisfaction :thumbsup: :

http://my.brandeis.edu/bboard/q-and-a-fetc...g?msg_id=00000q
http://continuinged.uml.edu/online/tutorial/word_tracking/

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#2 Joshuacat

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for sharing the information with us BanditFlyer. :thumbsup:

Take care,
JC

#3 BanditFlyer

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 08:17 PM

Now I'm starting to wonder if there is an equivalent for Excel. I tried the tools menu and it wasn't in there... HHHMMMMMM

Save as tab delimited text and then use VIM or ms Word???

#4 tos226

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 11:15 PM

Sure you can do it in Excel, but within reason of what Excel can handle. If it's text and a paragraph (delimited by enter/return/LF/CR, whatever) is not more than 65k, and if you have no more than 65k paragraphs, then in row2 paste file1 text into columnA, paste file2 text into columnC.
Give some field names to those columns, so you can put filters on them.
Now in column B write, without quotes, =A=B. And pull it down all the way to the bottom of the text - that's the hard part . Now in Data menu, set a filter, filter for FALSE using dropdown, and you'll see your differences.

For the filter to work over the entire data range, you have to delete blank lines, so do that BEFORE you pull your calculations down by filtering for Blanks and delete ROWS using the Edit menu.

Oh, and when you paste the files into Excel use Paste Special, Values or TEXT in order to have plain text.

Edited by tos226, 22 December 2005 - 11:17 PM.


#5 BanditFlyer

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 05:10 PM

Thanks Tos226,

Based on your post, it looks we were looking for different solutions. I was looking for a quick and easy way to compare two Excel files based on their content.

I think that the solution you offered would be more suited to comparing two text files using MS Excel.

I think that the easiest way to compare two Excel files would probably be to save them both as tab delimited text files, open those two files in MS Word, and then use the track changes feature of word that I mentioned earlier.

Please feel free to correct me if I misunderstood.

Thanks :thumbsup:

#6 tos226

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 10:43 PM

it looks we were looking for different solutions

Actually we were looking at different problems :thumbsup: This is funny :flowers: I could have sworn you asked how to compare word files in excel :trumpet: but on rereading your initial messages plus your latest comment, this is likely what you want (if it worked in Word it'll work here, they do reuse some code between those apps):

From Excel Help I quote:

Turn on change tracking for a workbook
On the Tools menu, click Share Workbook, and then click the Editing tab.
Select the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time check box.
Click the Advanced tab.
Under Track changes, click Keep change history for, and in the Days box, type the number of days of change history that you want to keep.
Be sure to enter a large-enough number of days because Microsoft Excel permanently erases any change history older than this number of days.

Click OK, and if prompted to save the file, click OK.
Note Turning on change tracking also shares the workbook.


Excel in Office 2000 and Office 2003 have tools/share feature. I don't recall about 97.
The only advice at this point I'd add is PLEASE have a backup of BOTH files before you enable sharing. We've seen sharing sometimes caused some problems, unfortunately I can't remember what.

#7 BanditFlyer

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 01:13 PM


it looks we were looking for different solutions

Actually we were looking at different problems :thumbsup: This is funny :flowers: I could have sworn you asked how to compare word files in excel :trumpet: but on rereading your initial messages plus your latest comment, this is likely what you want ...



Thanks !! :D




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