Comparing Documents in Word 97

Subject: Comparing Documents in Word 97
From: Darren Barefoot <dbarefoot -at- MPS-CANADA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 11:46:14 -0800

Good morning,

We're going to be making some changes to an online help source file in Word
97, and we want to be able to track the changes so that we can make changes
to the print source file (unfortunately, in FrameMaker). The good people at
Blue Sky (Robohelp) have advised against using the actual Track Changes
function, as it apparently can cause some serious problems in compiling.

So, we planned to just compare the old and the new document (using the
"Compare Documents" feature), with the changes reflected in the old document
(leaving the modified document uncorrupted). I've tested this, and it works
fine for additions and deletions, but it doesn't reflect formatting changes
(if I make something bold, it doesn't appear changed in the comparison

Our third-party book ("Using MS Word 97" from QUE, p. 661) says "when you're
finished [comparing documents], you'll have a document that includes change
marks wherever additions, deletions (and optionally, formatting changes)
were made." However, a Microsoft knowledge base item
( indicates
that "Compare Documents" was never intended for comparing formatting (or
drawing layer objects). Alas.

So, we're seeking a nifty and effective way to compare Word 97 documents
that will compare everything, including formatting, footnotes, etc.
Microsoft has suggested the dubiously-named CompareRite. Does anybody have
any experience with this or other products.

Thanks. DB.

Darren Barefoot
Technical Content Developer
1-604-904-0822 ext.112
<mailto: dbarefoot -at- mps-canada -dot- com>

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