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Comparing two texts with Word or Open Office
Thread poster: xxxPuicz
xxxPuicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:05
Swedish to English
Oct 23, 2006

Hi,
I have heard that it’s possible to compare two texts with Word. What I actually have to do is to check the paragraphing in two otherwise identical texts. Can anyone tell me how to go about this? I have Open Office and Word 97.
Thanks for any help!
Mike


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Rodolfo Raya  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:05
English to Spanish
From OpenOffice help Oct 23, 2006

If one of the authors has made changes to a document without recording them, you can compare the changed document to your original document.

1.Open your original document and then choose Edit - Compare Document.

2.A file selection dialog appears. Select the copy of the document and confirm the dialog.

OpenOffice.org combines both documents into your original document. All text passages that occur in your document but not in the copy are identified as having been inserted, and all text passages that are missing in your original document are identified as deletions.

3.You can now accept the "insertions", in which case the relevant texts stay in their original form, or you can accept the "deletions", in which case the marked text contained in the copy is not inserted in your document.


Best regards,
Rodolfo


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:05
German to English
+ ...
you can do it with Word (well, sort of...) Oct 23, 2006

I don't know about OO, but it is *in principle* possible to compare documents with Word.

Open one of the two documents and then select Track Changes / Compare Documents in the Tools menu (this is for Word 2000; I'm assuming the names haven't changed since Word 97 days). In the selection dialog, select the other document you want to compare with the open document. Word will then mark the difference between the two documents in your open document.

Now the caveats:

- Don't try this if your documents contain graphics or tables. The Word comparison function can sometimes handle the odd graphic without getting too badly confused, but it falls flat on its face every time it encounters a table.

- Sometimes the comparison function looses sync between the two documents even if there aren't major changes but only a moderate number of minor changes, and then you get whole paragraphs or pages of text marked as changed, which it totally useless.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2006-10-23 20:32]

[Edited at 2006-10-23 20:34]


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MTG_tlumaczenia
Poland
Local time: 19:05
English to Polish
+ ...
Tools -> Register changes Oct 23, 2006

In Word menu Tools there is a command "Track changes" -> "Compare documents". Execute it having one of your documents open. You will be propmted to select a document to compare it with. Differences between two documents will be shown (usually in blue and red).

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xxxPuicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:05
Swedish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Comparing documents Oct 23, 2006

Thanks for the help Ken.
I've also taken note of your caveats - one of the docs happens to have a number of graphics and possibly also tables.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:05
German to English
+ ...
Comparing two texts with Word or Open Office Oct 23, 2006

From the OOo on-screen help:

Comparing Versions of a Document
If one of the authors has made changes to a document without recording them, you can compare the changed document to your original document.
1.Open your original document and then choose Edit - Compare Document.
2.A file selection dialog appears. Select the copy of the document and confirm the dialog.
OpenOffice.org combines both documents into your original document. All text passages that occur in your document but not in the copy are identified as having been inserted, and all text passages that are missing in your original document are identified as deletions.
3.You can now accept the "insertions", in which case the relevant texts stay in their original form, or you can accept the "deletions", in which case the marked text contained in the copy is not inserted in your document.

HTH
Marc


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:05
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Works well in Word Oct 24, 2006

I use compare documents routinely when files come from my proofreader, so I can update the changes to the TM manually. It works also in tables, in fact I never had any problems with that function.
Otherwise I never use "track changes", the text becomes unreadable very soon during editing and re-editing, and mistakes stay undetected.
Regards
Heinrich


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Jack Becconsall
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:05
German to English
Track changes, can't they do better? Nov 16, 2006

Having read the postings on this topic, I notice that only Ken Cox has mentioned what I find is the main fault with "track changes", which I use in Word 2000 to go back and check what I've done after editing a text. When I go through the "compare documents" routine, it works in about 20% of the cases, otherwise it drops out of sync after a very short distance and is completely useless. It seems to be very sensitive to even quite minor changes in that respect. Surely the clever people at Microsoft or elsewhere should be able to give us a better product than this! If anybody knows of a better program that already exists, please tell me.

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