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  1. #1
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    Comparing Documents (XP)

    I was wondering if someone who is currently using Word XP could tell me how document comparison works. Is it possible to compare two completely separate documents or can you only compare 2 versions of the same document in Word? My company is trying to figure out if Word 2002's compare feature could replace CompareRite (they don't want to spend the <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15> for DeltaView).

    Thanks,
    Becky

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    I believe that Word's comparison function is intended to compare two versions of the same document, although this begs the philosophical question of how much a document can be edited before it becomes a different document rather than a new version. Nevertheless, my experience has been that Word does quite a good job of comparing versions that do not differ greatly, but obviously the greater the difference the less detailed and useful the comparison.

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Actually, I was wondering if Word could compare 2 very similar documents that have separate document names (possibly even stored in separate folders). Technically, they could be two versions of the same document, but they aren't. All of the documents in my office are set up like this. I was wondering if Word can compare two documents that are not versions of the same document?

    Thanks again,
    Becky

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Word 2002 can indeed compare two different documents in different locations. You use Explorer to navigate to the location of the second document.

    It also creates a 3rd document so you don't run the risk of saving over either your original or revised document.

    SJMiller

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    Re: Thanks

    Thanks, that's exactly what I needed to know.

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Sorry, I misunderstood your query. Yes, Word can compare two different and unrelated document files, by showing changes in either of the two documents or in a third, newly generated "merge" document.

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    Re: Thanks

    What you might want to know is that this feature is pretty bad in Word 2000, and unless it has been improved a lot in Word 2002, it really isn't a substitute for DeltaView (which does very well with tables, BTW). We just looked at the pricing for DeltaView today, and it is not good

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Our firm is now considering the same problem - do we spend the $ on DeltaView or has Word XP solved the Word's previous compare feature inadequacies? Does anyone have any new experience with this? Thanks!

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Since my original post, I have had a chance to work with Word XP's compare feature as well as try a demo of DeltaView. I compared the same exact document using Word 2000, Word XP, DeltaView (on the XP box), and CompareRite (on the 2000 box).

    Word XP and 2000 both marked FAR more changes in the documents than CompareRite or DeltaView...like they considered a space before a paragraph a change to the entire paragraph, so it marked the entire paragraph as an addition.

    CompareRite and DeltaView found the same number of changes (about 120 in a 60 page document), and they marked the documents up pretty much the same.

    Word XP has a very annoying feature that inserts the deleted text into a little bubble to the side of the paragraph and draws a line to the place in the document where it was deleted. It also shrinks the entire page so that the text and the bubble fit very nicely together. I showed a document compared with XP to a few attorneys, and they HATED it. I can send you an example of XP's compare next week (our eval copy ran out and the "real" version is due in next week), unless someone else with XP can post an example for you.

    Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll be glad to try to answer them for you.

    Best of luck,
    Becky

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Thanks for your info - sending me a document would be great if you could (jalong@varnumlaw.com).

    One quick question - does Word XP mark any Table changes (rows deleted, etc.)? That's one of the main features we're currently wanting.

    Thanks again for your help.

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Becky,

    When you get XP back again, could you post a shrunken screenshot of the XP bubble on the forum please?

    Thanks
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Just a short note, you don't have to use callout boxes. It's an option that can be turned off. My bosses kind of liked some of the available features. XP shows who changed what and you can print the marked up document with a different color for each editor.

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    I've adopted Acrobat 4 (full product) as my compare program.

    It does a great job of marking differences.

    I'll be installing ACrobat 5 in the next few weeks, hope that it is even better.

    One advantage of Word's compare is that you can accept/reject changes and directly modify the Word document.

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Here's a screenshot of the deleted text "balloons" that Word XP's compare shows when you print it. I did figure out how to turn this feature off, which did make it behave far more like a "normal" compared document (strike-through deletions and double-underline additions).

    However, Word's compare did mark far more changes in the text than did CompareRite. In one document, entire pages were marked as additions, while only a few paragraphs were marked up in CompareRite.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Comparing Documents (XP)

    Actually, Word's Comparison tool is NOT able to compare two versions of the same document. That is, if you have a single document (one *.doc file) and have used the Versions feature, you would need to save the individual version(s) as a new, separate document in order to perform a comparison.

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