Comparing Compare and Combine!

These two options in the Review tab are often unnoticed. Here is what they are for.


If you have an original document and another revised (changed) version – but you did not enable Track Changes before changing it – you need the COMPARE option. It will take both the documents, compare them and create a third document showing Tracked Changes.

If you have sent a document with Track Changes ON to many people and all of them send their revised version to you. Now you have multiple documents with each containing tracking by a DIFFERENT person. In this case you use the COMBINE option – two documents at a time to MERGE the track changes. Of course, changes are not accepted – just accumulated. Try it!

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How to create a formal document in Word?

This is the last article in the series on Word Sections. You must read these articles to follow the concepts explained in this article.

Be stylish – Use Word Styles
Unknown but extremely useful: SECTIONs in Word
Word Sections – Part 2 – Partial Multiple Columns
Word Sections – Part 3 – Headers and Footers

What is a formal document? It contains a title page, table of contents and the actual content. Page numbers start only from the actual content. Numbers start with 1. But the page number is not shown on the first page. We will see how to create such a document template in this article.


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Word Sections – Part 3 – Headers and Footers

Please read the following articles in the series to get a better understanding of this post.
Unknown but extremely useful: SECTIONs in Word
Word Sections – Part 2 – Partial Multiple Columns

Headers, Footers and Page numbers can also be customized at section level. However, there is one peculiar thing you need to know before you can use this effectively.


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Unknown but extremely useful: SECTIONs in Word

This is such an underutilized and unknown feature that Microsoft had to label the dialog wrongly to accommodate the global ignorance!

Hardly anyone (except avid Word users) know about sections – even though these are integral parts of Word documents. These have many powerful advantages. Not knowing about sections leads to enormous amount of extra effort across the globe. It is a pandemic of inefficiency in this context.


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Legal Professionals: Searching scanned documents

The Problem

Legal documents are archived by scanning. Scanned documents just contain an image for each page. Therefor it is impossible to search for specific text.

That means you have to spend lot of time groping in the dark trying to find a small paragraph in long documents.

It is possible to make searchable PDFs using Adobe Acrobat as well as many other third party applications. However, most documents are usually scanned as just standard images.

Don’t worry. There is an solution available. In fact you may have had the solution on your PC for upto 10 years.. but you may not have known it.

The solution is OneNote – a part of Microsoft Office since 2003.

How to check if you have OneNote?

Press Windows key with R key. Run dialog will open.

Type onenote and press Enter.

It it is installed it will open.

By the way, this method can be used to run other Office tools and other Windows applications as well. Here are the exact phrases winword, excel, powerpnt, outlook, mspub, paint, …

Using OneNote to search a scanned document

Open the PDF file containing the scan


Choose File – Print – Send to OneNote (The version number ).
Choose the desired notebook. For testing purpose just choose the current notebook.

It will print the pages to a new page in OneNote. Each page from the scanned document will be one image in the OneNote page.

Now press Ctrl F to go to Find on Page


Type search text and see what happens…

OneNote highlights the words which start with the characters you are searching for. This is very helpful in finding various word forms. The up and down arrows allow you to navigate instances of search results quickly. Of course, you can also scroll manually and check visually.

Want the text?

Of course you will want it sooner or later. So don’t worry. That is also available.

Right click on any page image and choose if you want it from that page or all pages (thoughtful feature… is it not? That is called User Focus).

Now you can paste it anywhere.

Of course the recognition depends upon scan quality.

Practical considerations

  • The page must be in vertical layout
  • Slanted text is difficult to recognize so rotate the image as required
  • OCR is available in multiple languages, depending upon which Office language packs are installed.
  • In case of multi lingual text, you can choose the OCR language by right clicking on the image
  • Handwriting can also be recognized if it is clear and legible. Like text, handwriting also needs to be horizontal. Tilted handwriting is more difficult to recognize