Comparing Versions of a Presentation

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated November 15, 2014

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010 and 2013

PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 include a useful Compare command which enables you to compare two different copies of a presentation, merge them, view the differences and then accept or reject the changes.

Compare button on Ribbon.

Related articles: How to Insert Screenshots in PowerPoint and Word (Part 1: Office Tools) and 7 PowerPoint Selection Tricks

Using the Compare tool

To compare two versions of a presentation and merge in a new copy of the presentation:

  1. Open the original version of the presentation (for example, SalesPitch1).
  2. Save a copy of the original presentation (for example, SalesPitch3).
  3. In the copy of the original presentation, click the Review tab on the Ribbon.
  4. Click Compare in the Compare group. A dialog box appears.
  5. Navigate to the location of the revised version of the presentation (for example, SalesPitch2).
  6. Click the revised presentation and click Merge. PowerPoint opens the revised version of the presentation and merges the two presentations while keeping track of the differences between the two.
  7. View the changes in the Reviewing Pane that appears on the right side of the PowerPoint window.

The Reviewing Pane

The Reviewing Pane appears automatically when presentations are merged. It appears by default on the right side of the PowerPoint window. Click on the Details tab to view changes on the current slide and at a presentation level. A check box icon will appear on the slide beside any item that has been changed.

There are two parts to the Reviewing Pane (with the Details tab selected). The top area shows changes on the slide you are viewing. The bottom area shows changes throughout the presentation.

Compare revision pane.

Reviewing changes at the slide level

To review the changes/differences at the slide level:

  1. In Normal view, display the slide with the changes you wish to review.
  2. In the Reviewing Pane, click the Details tab.
  3. Under Slide Changes, click one of the items in the list and PowerPoint will display a description of the change(s) on the slide.
  4. Navigate to subsequent slides and repeat the process.

Compare changes pop-up.

Reviewing changes at the presentation level

To review the changes/differences at the presentation level (such as a theme change):

  1. In the Reviewing Pane, click the Details tab.
  2. Under Presentation Changes, click one from the list of changes and PowerPoint will show a description of the change.

Accepting or rejecting the changes

Once you have reviewed the changes, you can accept and/or reject the changes:

  1. Click the first slide in Normal view.
  2. On the Review tab, in the Compare group, click Next. PowerPoint will select the first change.
  3. Click either Accept or Reject in the Compare group on the Review tab in the Ribbon. From Accept options, you can accept changes one by one, accept all changes to the current slide, or accept all changes to the presentation. There are also options to reject individual changes or all changes.
  4. Click Next in the Compare group to move to the next change.
  5. Repeat until you have accepted or rejected all changes.
  6. When the process is complete, click End Review in the Compare group and close and save the file.

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