How to Merge MS Word Files

By William Bronleigh

Microsoft Word is arguably the most popular word-processing program in the world. Hosting a number of helpful features, Word can be a productive word processor if you know how to utilize the right features. Merging documents can be cumbersome if you are reliant on copying and pasting. However, you can utilize the "Combine Document" feature on Word can make this task much easier. The method varies slightly between versions of Microsoft Word.

Merging Documents in Word 2010

Step 1

Click the "Review" tab on the top of the Word 2010 window.

Step 2

Select the "Compare" category and then click "Combine."

Step 3

Choose the two files you want to merge in the "Combine Documents" menu that is open. The left side is the original document you will be merging with the revised document, which is on the right side.

Step 4

Click the "More" button to bring up a menu to select different options for the merge. You can choose which features to compare or how to show changes, for example.

Step 5

Edit and view your documents in the four-pane view. The left pane will show primary document changes. The two right panes will show both documents that are being merged. The center pane will show the combined document, which will be your finished product.

Merging Files in Word 2007

Step 1

Select the "Review" tab and then select the "Compare" menu.

Step 2

Click the "Combine" button and the "Combine Documents" menu will appear.

Step 3

Navigate to your original document in the "Original Document" area and select the revised document in the "Revised Document" area.

Step 4

Edit and change your documents in the triple-pane view. It will display the combined document in the left pane. The two right panes display the separate documents that you are combining.

Merge Documents in Word 2003

Step 1

Open one of the documents you wish to merge.

Step 2

Click to open the "Tools" drop-down menu on the top bar.

Step 3

Choose "Compare and Merge Documents" from the drop-down list.

Step 4

Select the other document that you wish to merge.

Step 5

Click one of three options. Selecting "Merge" will display the results of the comparison into the selected document. "Merge into current document" will show the results in the document that is currently open. The final option is to "Merge into a new document," which will place the merger of the files into a completely separate, new document.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you wish to combine many documents at a time, refer to the Resources section for advanced techniques.
  • Be careful to save separate files so that you can recover originals in case you encounter any problems.