How to Compare Original and Modified Documents in LibreOffice

In the blogging or journalism world, when you have finished writing an article, it is sent to the editor for review. For this purpose, LibreOffice provides all the tools needed. When a reviewer is making comments or changes to your original document, they can enable the tracking of changes in LibreOffice which is easily available from the menubar and can be enabled by selecting Edit → Tracking ChangesRecord. Once recording is enabled, the document contains both the original and modified versions so that anyone can view the changes. Later if you want to view the changes made, you can select Edit → Tracking ChangesShow.

Compare Modified Document in LibreOffice

But what if the reviewer did not record the changes? In that case, you can still view the changes made if you possess the original copy of the document. Here is how:

  1. Open the modified document (the one sent by the reviewer) in LibreOffice.
  2. From the menubar select Edit → Tracking ChangesCompare Document. And when prompted select the original document.Compare Modified Document in LibreOffice
  3. You will be shown a small window “Manage Changes” displaying how many items have been removed and added in your document. Since recording was not enabled, it won’t show any useful information, just the total count of the changes.Compare Modified Document in LibreOffice
  4. In the document, you will see the lines with changes marked by a straight vertical line (called a pipe character) in front of them. Furthermore, it will show removed words with crossed a line over them and it will show any newly added words in color.Compare Modified Document in LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free and open-source alternative to the expensive and bulky Microsoft Office. While LibreOffice setup is only around 250MB in size, Microsoft Office is nearly 4GB for the standard edition. It provides all the features that Microsoft Office provides and is fully compatible with the documents created using Microsoft Office.

You can download free LibreOffice from