mrossman73's avatar
mrossman73
New Contributor
8 years ago
Status:
New Idea

Enhanced support for Collaborator Diff Viewer to handle Microsoft Doc and Docx Formats

Many of the users of the Collaborator application in my company want to use it to review changes made to Microsoft Word documents. However, the document Diff Viewer provided with Collaborator does not have the ability to "understand" the word documents in a their native format - as it first converts them to text files and then displays them as PDF files.  Thus, the "context" of the changes is lost. 

 

For instance, users would like to be able to ignore differences in versions of word documents caused by mere changes to document Header and Footer page numbers, for instance. This type of filtering is not provided by Collaborator's diff viewer, since it treats all differences between 2 Microsoft word documents the same (as basic text), whether they come from differences in body text, header text, footer text, table of contents text, etc. 

 

Also, is there a way for Collaborator to see/create something similar to the "Document Map" that is provided in Microsoft word - this would simplify document navigation because then section numbers of the document could be navigated to directly. Also, if the section numbering, header, footers, body text, TOC of the document provided in the open xml format (namely the docx file) were parsed by Collaborator's Diff Viewer, and some functionality created to allow the Diff Viewer to potentially ignore changes in files caused by updates to Table of Contents, Header, Footer text, etc.  Currently, this type of filtering of word document changes is not possible in Collaborator's file Diff Viewer.  It would be nice if add-ins could be provided that would provide this type of functionality.

2 Comments

  • Agreed, this would be a very desirable enhancement to make it configurable whether header and footer differences are considered differences, in display and navigation.  For example if I have a document which is hundreds of pages, and it contains "page x of y" in the footer, and the overall page count changes, if I "find next difference" I have to click on every page. If there is other common text with revision text and date etc, the same applies. 

    Meanwhile here are some work around to minimise information in the header or footer that changes:

    - Provide a summary page which includes common information such as revision and date, do not include that information on every page header/footer. 

    - For page numbers, if required, use "Page x", instead of "Page x of y". In the former case it is only reported as a difference when the page containing information is different, which for most small changes is infrequent.  In the later case whenever the number of pages in the document changes, every page will report "of y" as a difference.

  •  Please help consider the situation we encountered.  when some picture objects are embedded into word documents,  the picture difference between two word documents can not be detected.