Merge Multiple Word Documents In MS. Office

Merging Documents

Do you know that Microsoft Word allows multi-person collaboration on documents? Even though it supports this features, you’ll need to merge multiple Word documents together. You can simply copy and paste the contents of one document to another when the information(content) quantity is low. But what if it is not this case? Although the copy-paste method isn’t the most practical way to achieve the desired result.

For this reason, Word offers some methods to merge multiple Word documents together in MS. Office. The following are some methods to merge multiple Word documents.

1. Merging Two Versions Of Same Documents:

Suppose that you have got two different versions of the same document. It may be impossible to find all the tiny variances in both the versions. Therefore, Word provides an easy way to know the differences between the two. First, it compares both the versions and then merges them together into a single file.

Comparing the versions:

Before you merge the versions, it’s prudent to compare the two files and study the differences between them. You might decide you don’t want to combine them after all. Let’s go through the process using two versions of a News report about a Mars probe.

This is the original version:

Merging Documents

 

And the below is the slightly altered version of the report:

Merging Documents

To get started with the comparison, click on the Review on the menu bar. Now, select Compare in the sub-menu bar. Then from the drop down, click on Compare. If the Compare Documents option is not available, probably your document is protected. To unprotect it, go to File > Info > Protect Document and remove any restrictions.

Merging Documents

In the new window, paste the Original Document box with one file, and the Revised Document box with another. You can also add a custom label to the changes.

Merging Documents

Word will automatically open a new document. The column on the left (1) shows revisions, (2) shows the compared documents, and (3) shows the two originals. You can hide the source documents by following Compare > Show Source Documents > Hide Source Document.

Merging Documents

Merging the Two Versions:

Now you’ve got all the differences neatly displayed in one single file, but it’s still a mess. How do you determine which changes you want to keep and which you want to discard?

You have two options. You can manually go through the document and edit each change as you wish. Remember that added text is underlined, removed text is shown with the strikethrough. Editing the document this way works well for shorter documents. But you’re still prone to miss things if you’re working on a long document such as a book.

Merging Documents

A more efficient method is to use the revisions list in the left-hand column. You can right-click on each change and select Accept or Reject. Or you can place your cursor on the text under each listed revision and correct accordingly. Word will automatically update the text in the main document as you work.

The number of revisions now shows zero in the below image which has been worked through all the changes. The document shows either accepted or rejected all the changes. Finally, save the final document.

Merging Documents

2. Merging the Text of Multiple Different Documents:

This will explain how to merge the text from completely different documents. And as mentioned before, you can copy and paste the text. But it’s not practical always, especially on long documents. A better method is to use Word’s built-in tools.

I’m going to merge the article about Mars probe with Space.com’s version of the same story.

Open the first document. This is the file you will add all future files to. Go to Insert > Object > Text from File and find the document you want to merge.

Merging Documents

The text will be inserted wherever your cursor is, so make sure it’s in the correct and desired location before proceeding. Word will retain all the formatting of the original document. In the below example, Space.com’s story is shown in a different color and font to illustrate the point.

Merging Documents

Repeat the process for each document which you wish to add and at the end, save it when you’re finished.

3. Merging Multiple Versions Of The Same Document:

Comparing two versions and merging them together into a single file is easy. But what if you are having multiple versions of the same document that are to be merged?

First, open the original document and click on Review tab, then select Compare. This time, you need to select Combine instead.

Merging Documents

Put the first document which you want to merge into the Revised Document field and give the changes a label. Then click OK.

Once you have the combined document, go to Review > Compare > Combine again. Put the freshly combined file in the Original Version field and add the next document to Revised Version. Repeat the process for each copy of the file. Make sure that you give each revised document a unique label.

Merging Documents


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