The Basics of Proofreading: Comparative Side-By-Side Proofreading on Different Programs

While proofreading their work, the translator will need to see the source and target documents side by side using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. For Word, the size of the windows of the two documents can be adjusted so they can be placed side by side without using any special functions. Excel and PowerPoint, however, don’t provide such options, unless I’m mistaken. Not to fret; this can be solved easily. I will let you in on a method that can be used for all three programs. I’ve included separate screenshots for each program, but the methods are basically the same.


1. Word

After opening both documents, click on the button outlined with the red rectangle below under the ‘View’ tab.

If you click on that button, the two documents will be arranged side by side as in the image below, and the ‘Synchronous scrolling’ option will become available.

The ‘View Side by Side’ option in Word
The ‘View Side by Side’ option in Word

Synchronous scrolling is a useful function when proofreading the target document against the source document. When you move the cursor or scroll up or down in one document, the other document moves along with it. It’s also very useful when proofreading exported documents that have been already formatted somewhat closely to the source document.
However, sometimes the corresponding parts in the two documents do not line up next to each other when the documents are viewed side by side. Generally, Korean characters are vertically longer than letters in the English alphabet, so Korean documents are often longer than English documents. Also, for documents made up of mainly text, the English document generally contains more letters than the Korean document, so the English document is often longer than the Korean document. When either of the above happens, first press on the synchronous scrolling tab one more time to disable the function. Then, rearrange the location in the documents and press the tab again so the function can be turned on once more. This tab is a toggle key.
To give you another tip, it’s much more convenient if you get rid of the space between the pages when performing these tasks. (You can do this by double clicking in between the two pages.)


2. Excel

For a while, I couldn’t perform the above function in Excel, which made things fairly inconvenient. It often made me quite angry. But, after a quick search on Google, I found that it was actually pretty easy. Once again, knowledge is power! First, open two files in Excel, just as you did in Word. You probably will only see one of the windows (even if you try to line up the two documents side by side manually as you did in Word, it will not work. You’ll just end up frustrated…) Now, press ‘View’ as you did in Word and click on ‘View Side by Side’ marked with a red box below.

You’ll see that both documents will open up side by side as shown in the image below. The two documents in the image aren’t source and target documents, but a PO and the corresponding invoice. Wouldn’t it be convenient to work on these documents while viewing them side by side?

One difference from Word is that in Excel, only one toolbar opens for both documents. In both programs however, the ‘Synchronous scrolling’ turns on automatically. (Using the Synchronous scrolling in Excel is the same as in Word.) If you click on the line between the two documents to drag it left and right, you can control the size of the documents.


3. PowerPoint

You can use the same method in PowerPoint. Open both files, and click on ‘Arrange All’ under ‘View’. The name of the button is different, ‘Arrange All’ instead of ‘View Side by Side’, but the location of the tab and function is pretty much the same.

As you’ve seen above, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all provide the function of viewing documents side by side in the same way. Only the terms and basic screen structure are different.


브라이언은 의료분야에서 한영번역을 하는 번역가입니다. 캐나다 온타리오의 작은 시골 마을에서 아내와 둘이 삽니다. 여행과 독서와 음악과 커피를 좋아합니다.

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