How Microsoft Word's Compare Function Falls Short for Lawyers

Thu 06 Jan 2022

You wouldn't expect to see Gordon Ramsay cutting into a perfectly cooked beef wellington with a cheap knife he picked up at the grocery store. Danica Patrick wasn't winning NASCAR races in a street-legal daily commuter car. Artists, skilled craftspeople, artisans, and athletes all bring phenomenal talent and years of dedicated effort to their work. But they don't stop there: they also invest in the right tools to support their unique needs. What's perfectly adequate for an average person's everyday use isn't up to the needs of a professional at the top of their game.

It's no different for lawyers, whose document review and comparison needs far exceed those of ordinary users. Why is it that lawyers think Microsoft Word's compare function is sufficient?

Where Microsoft Word Falls Short

Lawyers tend to work with lengthy, complex, intricately formatted documents. They don't have time to deal with errors'or confusion'caused by numerous changes throughout the editing and comparison process. They need to quickly see what's changed, how it's changed, and who changed it, and then they need the ability to accept or reject those changes in full or in part without creating new problems.

Microsoft Word'even the updated version within Office 365'just isn't up to the task. Here are a few examples of high-level comparison tasks that lawyers need to be able to do but that Microsoft Word's compare function can't offer:

  • Comparing text found in different formats, be that Word, text from a scanned PDF, text within a PowerPoint presentation, or text within embedded Excel tables.
  • Parsing through multiple versions of the same original document to compare one document against numerous other versions of itself, each one edited by a different collaborator.
  • Displaying summary reports that highlight the differences between two files and calculate statistics about the versions and the changes between them.

We've written a whole document about the 10 Reasons Why Legal Professionals Need a Specialist Tool to Compare Documents, so we won't rehash all 10 reasons here.

Don't Settle for Average

You've spent too much time learning your trade and mastering your craft to waste time fighting against a tool that wasn't designed with your unique needs in mind. Litera Compare is a specialized tool designed to meet lawyers' advanced document review and comparison needs. Learn more in the full document, 10 Reasons Why Legal Professionals Need a Specialist Tool to Compare Documents, and request a quote for Litera Compare today.

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