You are working with your friends on a group project. What a mess! Everyone has a different version of a Word document that should be identical instead. Strength and courage that life is only passing through! I have the solution that's right for you. Have I ever let you down? Never, good.
The solution to your problems - I'll tell you a secret - you've always had it under your eyes! What am I referring to? But of course a Word: Microsoft's famous word processing software, you must know, offers a series of tools that allow you to compare and merge documents in just a few clicks. Just select the first document, then the second and enjoy the final result.
How do you say? Are you interested in this but some friends in your group no longer have Word installed on their computer? Don't worry: there are alternative solutions, even free, that allow you to get almost the same result without having to resort to Microsoft's Office suite. Yes yes, it's all true, I'm not kidding! Come on, take five minutes of free time, find out how to merge Word documents thanks to the indications I am about to give you and surprise everyone with the results you will be able to obtain!
Microsoft Word (Windows / MacOS)
Microsoft Word offers several functions to merge documents: let's see them all in detail and discover, together, how to use them best. The steps to take are the same on both Windows and macOS (as long as you are using Office 2016, which at the time of writing is the most recent version of the Microsoft suite).
The function Combine Microsoft Word is the one that allows you to combine the revisions of multiple authors in a single document: it is therefore the right solution if your intent is to combine multiple versions of the same file modified by multiple authors.
To take advantage of the "Combine" function of Word, go to the tab revision of the program, click on the button Compare che si trova in alto a destra e seleciona la voce Combine from the drop-down menu that appears.
In the window that opens, click on the icon of gialla poster located next to the field original document and select the first file to merge; then click on the icon gialla poster located next to the field revised document and select the second file to merge.
If you want, you can also click on the button Other located at the bottom left and adjust the comparison settings of the two documents by choosing which parameters to take into account: movements, Comments, tables, headers and footers, uppercase / lowercase etc. When you have adjusted all settings and are ready to proceed, click on OK.
If a warning appears stating that "only one set of changes can be stored in the merged final document", select the document to keep formatting changes placing the check mark next to its name and clicking on the button Continue with union to move forward.
Within a few seconds, the Word window will be divided into three parts: on the left you will find the list of Revisioni present in the two documents examined; in the center you will find the combined document, while on the right you will find two boxes with original versions of the merged documents.
If you are satisfied with the result, go to the menu File> Save with nome Microsoft Word (top left) and save your unified document.
Insert Text from File
want merge Word documents different from each other and not different versions of the same file? Then you can rely on the function Insert text from file Word, which, as the name suggests quite easily, allows you to append the contents of a document to the file currently open in Word. In my tests it worked quite well, but Microsoft itself is keen to point out that sometimes it may not keep the formatting of documents added to those currently open in Word.
All clear? Well, then let's take action. To take advantage of Word's "Insert text from file" feature, open the first document you want to involve in the unification process and get to its end point. Then, if you want, add a page break to insert the text of the second file starting from a blank page. If you don't know how to insert a page break, just select the tab Inserisci Word, click the button Pages located at the top left and choose the option Page break give the riquadro che si apre.
At this point, go to the tab Inserisci Word, click the button Ref.: located at the top right (window icon with blue title bar), select the item Text from file from the box that appears and choose the document to add to the one currently open in the program.
If you want to merge more than two documents, repeat the operation with all the documents you want to merge and, when you are satisfied with the result, save it by going to the menu File> Save with nome of Word, top left.
Copy and Paste
Although it may seem a bit spartan solution, I assure you that the classic copy and paste it can be a great way to merge Word files while keeping their original formatting.
How do you copy-and-paste a Word document into another correctly? I'll explain it to you right away. Open the first document (the one in which to paste the contents of the other files), get to its final point and, if you want, add a page break by going to the menu Insert> Pages> Page Break.
At this point, open the second document (the one to paste into the first one you previously opened), click on the button Select located at the top right of the tab Home Word and select the item Select all from the menu that opens: in this way, you will select all the contents of the file.
Now, click on the button Copy located at the top left, go back to the first document, click on the button Paste (always located at the top left) and that's it. If the formatting of the pasted document is not correct, click on the arrow? located below the button Paste and select the icon Merge Formatting (the folder with the blue arrow next to it) from the box that opens.
Finally, repeat the copy-and-paste for all the documents you want to merge with the first open file and save the final result by going to the menu File> Save with nome of Word (top left).
Don't have Word installed on your PC? In this case you can rely on LibreOffice: a free and open source productivity suite that includes alternatives to (almost) all Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Excel, Access and Publisher. It is compatible with all major PC operating systems (Windows, macOS and Linux), reads all Office files and is completely in Italian, including the spelling checker.
To download LibreOffice on your computer, connect to its official website and click on the button Download version xx that you find in the center of the page. If you are using a Mac, after clicking the "Download version xx" button, you must also click the button Translated user interface, to download the package needed to translate LibreOffice into Italian (which is not needed in the Windows version of the program, as it is already included "as standard").
To download completed, a PC Windows, start the LibreOffice installation package (LibreOffice_xx_Win_x64.msi) and complete the software installation procedure by first clicking on forward and then forward, Install, Yese end.
If you use a Poppy, to install LibreOffice you must first open the dmg package that contains the program (LibreOffice_xx_MacOS_x86-64.dmg) and then drag the icon of the sheet contained in it into the folder Applicationssay macOS.
When the operation is complete, right-click on the LibreOffice icon you just copied to the Applications folder, select the item apri from the context menu of macOS, click on the button apri present in the window that opens and closes LibreOffice by pressing the key combination cmd + q on the computer keyboard. This operation must be performed only at the first start of LibreOffice and allows you to run the software even if it comes from developers not certified by Apple.
Now you have to proceed with the installation of the Italian language pack for LibreOffice. So open the package LibreOffice_xx_MacOS_x86-64_langpack_it.dmg you downloaded earlier from the program's site and launch the executable LibreOffice Language Pack by right clicking on the latter and selecting the item apri give the menu to compare.
Then click on the buttons apri e Install, select the voice /Applications/LibreOffice.app from the window that opens and presses up again Install. If you are told that "your account does not have the necessary privileges", click on Yes, identify me, type the password of your user account on macOS (the one you use to access the system) and presses on OK two more consecutive times to complete the installation of the Italian language pack of LibreOffice.
Once the installation of LibreOffice is complete, you can use the program to merge Word documents according to various procedures, which we are now going to discover together. The steps to take are the same on all operating systems.
Merge Document and Compare Document
As well as Microsoft Word, too LibreOffice Writer, the word processing software included in LibreOffice, allows you to compare different versions of the same document and merge them. To take advantage of this function, open the first file to be merged in LibreOffice and go to the menu Edit> Track Changes> Merge Document present in high to sinistra.
In the window that opens, select the second document to merge and, if you are satisfied with the result, save the final document by going to the menu File> Save with nome (located top left).
If the "Merge document" function of Writer does not give the desired results (it does not always work correctly), try to go to the menu Edit> Revisions and select the item Compare document from the latter.
In the window that opens, select the document to merge with the one already open in LibreOffice and you will see the list of all the revisions that differentiate the two files: then choose which revisions to accept o refuse clicking on the appropriate buttons (rejected revisions remain visible in the document, accepted ones do not) and save the final result by going to the menu File> Save with nome.
Insert Text from File
Another function that LibreOffice has in common with Microsoft Word is that which allows you to add the text of a file inside another file opened previously.
To take advantage of LibreOffice's "Insert text from file" function, open the document into which you want to import the text of another file. Then go to its end point and, if you want, add a page break to insert the new text on a blank page. If you don't know how to add a page break, go to the menu Inserisci (top) and select the item Page break from the latter.
After that go to the menu Insert> Text from File and select the document from which you want to import the text.
When the operation is complete, if you are satisfied with the result, save the unified file by going to the menu File> Save with nome by LibreOffice.
Copy and Paste
If none of the above techniques convinced you, you can resort to the dear old man copy and paste and thus unify the content of multiple Word documents.
To use copy-and-paste in LibreOffice, open the document to which you want to add more files, get to the end point of the latter and, if you want, insert a 'page break by going to the menu Inserisci which is located at the top.
At this point, open the document you want to merge with the file you have already opened in LibreOffice and first select the item Select all from the menu Modification (in order to select all the contents of the document) and then that Copy, from the same menu. Then go back to the file you previously opened, select the item Paste from the menu Modification And that's it.
Repeat the operation for all the documents you want to add to the first one and, when you are satisfied with the result, save the unified file by going to the menu File> Save with nome by LibreOffice. It wasn't difficult, was it ?!
If you don't feel like installing new programs on your PC (or you can't do it due to restrictions imposed by the system administrator), you can merge Word documents by contacting DocSoSo: a free online service that works directly from the browser.
To use it, connected to its home page, click on the button Select files and select the DOC or DOCX files to merge. Then press the button Merge Word, wait a few moments for the unified document to be generated and click on the item Download File that appears below to download it to your PC.
The files uploaded to DocSoSo, to protect the user's privacy, are automatically deleted from the service's servers within 24 hours of uploading.