How to compare documents in Google docs

The latest and the most useful feature in Google Docs is “Compare Documents,” which allows google docs users to compare two Google Docs inline. Yes! It’s now easier to compare two documents in Google docs.

Google Docs is an online text editor, a free product offering fresh and unique features that makes it stand out of the crowd in the actually competitive word processing solutions. Google has added an exciting feature that is going to make things easier when it comes to working with more than one document.

Comparison Document

When you want to compare two docs, Google Docs will create a new document that shows all the already existing suggested edits from both docs. This feature will show you the differences between the google docs as “Suggested Edits” in a new document. The changes are highlighted in magenta, using strikethroughs and a sidebar displaying clearly what are the changes made by whom.

How to compare two documents in google docs?

To compare the documents in google docs, follow the below instructions to flawlessly using a comparison document tool.

  • First and foremost, launch the web browser and fire up the Google Docs home page.
  • Now open up an already existing document that you are going to compare.
  • Once you opened the document, click Tools > Compare Documents to run the comparison tool.
compare documents in Google docs
  • A small dialog box will appear, that allows you to select another document to compare against the first opened document.
  • This dialog box has three components. First, an option to select the comparison document, the second one is to include the actual owner of the document, and the last one is to choose including comments or not.
How to compare documents in Google docs
  • Click on “My Drive” to pull up the file picker.
  • Navigate to the file you want to use.
  • Click on the file, and then select the “Open” button to choose the document.
  • The name you enter into “Attribute Differences To” will show the person who made the changes in the final document as an edit.
  • Enter your name and click “Compare” to let Google compares the document.
  • If you did choose the wrong document, simply click on the second file and choose the right one. The Compare button will not turn blue (enable) until you have selected a second document to compare.
  • When the comparison is ready, Google Docs will show you a message letting you know.
  • A dialog box displaying the message “Comparision is ready” will appear.
compare two documents in google docs
  • When you see this dialog box, click on “Open” to open the comparison document.
  • The compared document will open up as a third file with all the highlighted suggestions that appears in red color in the actual body of the document. And the information about who made the document will be displayed on the right side.
  • The changes made and the timing of the changes will also appear.
  • The new feature will even tell you what text was replaced and what it was replaced with.
  • Each edit will appear as a suggestion that gives you the option to accept or reject. You can either approve or disapprove by using the signs.
How to compare two documents in google docs
  • To keep it, click on the checkmark, or to reject click on the “X”.
  • You are the decision-maker who can decide whether to keep or dismiss the edit in the comments section that appears on the right side of the document.

Why comparing documents in google docs?

Sometimes, it can be hard to find out the very minute differences between the two documents. It is very easy to see multiple revisions in documents by using Version History (revision history).

But it is really hard to compare a new document to an old one, especially if a client or a stakeholder has to track changes, it will be very difficult.

To overcome this issue, Google has rolled out a unique feature to all Google Docs users called “Compare Documents” which solves this problem in an efficient manner. It has multiple kinds of uses, including seeing what has changed in a legal document or contract.

Who has access to compare documents?

The feature “compare document” can be used only by the document’s owner and those users who have edit access for the google docs.

What are all the changes not tracked by google docs?

There are two changes that can’t be tracked by the “compare document” feature in google docs. They are

  • Changes to column layout
  • Changes to table column width.

Why do you use the compare document feature?

This feature makes it easy for complex editing situations and to catch plagiarism. Comparing two distinct documents is the actual purpose of why a comparison document tool is created.

Beyond simply comparing documents, the compare document tool is also used for complex editing situations.

Teachers and other educators can use it to compare essays and assignments, to check if essays are being copied or even just slightly rewritten. This ensures teachers and other educators to save time when grading marks for students.

Business users and owners can use these google docs compare tools during contract negotiations to see what terms have changed throughout the negotiation process and to compare the final version of the doc to the initial version by tracking various changes made in the document.


This web-enabled application enables the users to generate and edit files online that can be collaborated with other consumers in real-time. The compare document feature in google docs is thus a boon for users of the google docs.