The Versions Compare... option offers an efficient way of indicating the differences and similarities between entire item structures directly in the structure tree, as compared to the Versions view which can only compare a single level of parts. An efficient use of the two viewing methods is to use the Versions Compare in the structure tree to detect differences in the structure, select an item, and then investigate differences more closely using the Versions view.

To access the view, open the structure that you want to compare and select Versions > Compare... on the Items Ribbon. 

Getting Acquainted with the View

Regardless of whether you have selected a part or the top-item in a structure, the option will present a Versions for .... dialog for the structure's top-item where you can select a version of the structure to compare with the selected version of the structure. In the below example, the "Electronic System Architecture" is the structure being compared. 

The version of the currently selected structure will be pre-selected in blue. Note above that although the "Function requirements" item is selected in the tree, the option is for comparison of the entire "Electronic System Architecture" structure. 

To compare two versions, select the version you want to compare to, and click OK. In the below example, the current version 7 will be compared with version 1. 

The dialog will close and a new column will appear in the structure tree grid indicating the compared version, in this case version 1.

To expand portions of the tree, click on the plus button to the left of the sub-structure or use the Expand option on the right-click menu. 

Tip: Use the Expand and Collapse shortcuts! Ctrl + Shift + "+/-" 

If you want to add additional versions to the comparison, you can do that as well by performing the same steps again. You can use this method to compare any number of versions in the tree, and every compared version will get a new column. 

Here, versions 1 AND version 2 are being compared with the selected version 7.

The column will display all used versions by their version number.

If a different version is found in the compared structure, it will have a yellow background.

A missing part, i.e., it does not exist because it was removed or never existed in the selected version, is indicated by a gray background.

A row will be added to the tree display for any part that is included in the compared structure, but is not in the selected/open version. The name of that part is displayed in gray to make it clear that it is not a part of the selected structure. Below is an example of two parts that are not in the selected version 7 structure.

Removing the Version Compare Column

There is no direct way to turn the comparison off, so you will have to open the top item in another tab, using the Open item in new tab option found in the right-click menu (or the Shift + Ctrl + O shortcut). Or, you can remove the added column(s), by right-clicking on its header and select Remove column or unselect it from the list.