How do I use synchronised scrolling in Word - image credit - Zach Farmer from UnsplashThere is a lovely feature in Word that I am amazed not many people know about let alone use. When you have two versions of a document, it makes your life so much easier to see what is different between the two. The scenario is this: two people are working on the same project and have collaborated to set out the contents and layout of the report they need to present to the board. Both are experts in their field, both have different opinions on some of the topics in this report. You have asked them to write a report keeping to the suggested topics in order. They have created a report each and now you need to ascertain how to amalgamate the two documents successfully. Using synchronised scrolling is just one way of helping you to go through the documents.

How to start synchronised scrolling

  • Make sure the two documents have different file names.
  • To make your life easier, have only the two documents open in Word.
  • Select each one in turn and move the cursor to the very beginning in each and save each.
  • From the View tab in the Windows section, select View Side by Side Tool.

View Side By Side Tool

Note there is a greyed-out tool underneath called Synchronous Scrolling. This will become live after you select View Side by Side.

  • Check that the Synchronised tool is active.

In the View Tab in the Window section, you should see this.

Synchronous Scrolling Tool

The two tools active here are View Side by Side and Synchronous Scrolling. Should the second not be active Click on it to activate the scrolling.

Here are two documents that have been set up for synchronous scrolling.

example 1

You can see that each document is separate as one is using the View Tab and the second the Home Tab. Each can access whatever you require them to.

Using the scroll bar, for me in the document on the left I can move up and down the documents in a synchronous manner.

result 1

  • Should you require the scrolling not to be synchronised any longer select the Synchronise Scrolling Tool again to take that feature off.
  • Move the document to the place of your choice and select the Synchronise Scrolling Tool again to scroll with the other document synchronously.

What if I have multiple documents open when I start?

If you have several documents open when you begin this feature by selecting View Side by Side, you will be presented with this dialog box.

Document list

  • Select the other document you wish to “scroll” with.

So there you have it. have fun scrolling!

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