Revision history is a key component of any word processor that lets you track writing progress and return to older iterations. The new Google Docs “Compare Documents” tool takes this a step further by highlighting the differences between two separate files in a dedicated view.

Google Doc users access this new tool from the “base” document, with a Drive file picker letting them select another to compare against. A third Google Doc will then be generated that shows all existing suggested edits —  the differences between both documents — as accepted.

This is useful for both education and business applications, with the comparer able to “Attribute differences to” a custom label in the resulting document.

  • For instance, educators can use this tool to compare essays and track revisions, saving them time when grading.
  • On the other hand, business users can use this tool 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.

Google Docs Compare Documents

When rolled out on the desktop web, heading to the Tools menu will reveal the new “Compare Documents” utility that pops up a panel to “Select the comparison document” by browsing your Drive. The username field is below and already filled, with “Compare” creating the new file.

This tool can be used by document owners and those with edit access and will be available to all G Suite Editions by default. It is rolling out starting today and will be available over the course of this month.

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Abner Li

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