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Comparing Microsoft Word documents

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  • Comparing Microsoft Word documents

    BC3 compares Microsoft Word documents nicely. After setting the characters per line to 160 and choosing the under/over view I can easily see the lines that differ without sideways scrolling. But the displayed under/over panels are read-only and I cannot find any way of tweaking the text to improve the matching.

    Suppose I have added one character to the start of a long paragraph. Each line of 160 characters now shows as not matched. If I use the default very long line length then the whole line shows as mismatched but I need to do lots of sideways scrolling to detect that there is only the one character that differs. And then sideways scroll back to see the next paragraph. This is too much mouse movement.

    What I would like is to be able to edit the displayed text so that the normal BC3 line matching detects equal text and lets me more easily identify the differences.

    I do not want to save the changed text back to the original file, I just want to improve how BC3 shows the differences.

    Can we have some way of making a read-only panel editable. There is a "save file as" already there if we want to save the text. It would be fine to have a warning message about saving in the original format not being possible.

    A related issue. The "save file as" dialogue for a Microsoft Word file gives the original file name and extension, ie ".doc". The dialogue also provides a "Save as type" field with ".doc" as an option. These are misleading and might cause overwriting and hence loss of the original file. I think this dialogue should instead default to ".txt", or to some other text file extension.

    Adrian
    BC3.0.15 - 9758

  • #2
    Is there any way of making read-only panels editable?
    Any comments on the desirability of overwriting a ".doc" file with a text file?

    Adrian

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    • #3
      I agree that, if a user performs a Save As to convert one side of a Word document compare to a .txt file, the user should then be able to edit the text file.

      Originally posted by Adrian--1 View Post
      Is there any way of making read-only panels editable?
      Normally you would go to Session Settings and uncheck the "Disable editing" property on the Specs tab. Unfortunately, this does not work when you convert one side of a Word document compare to a text file using Save As. I would consider this a bug.
      BC v4.0.7 build 19761
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

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      • #4
        Thanks Adrian and Michael,

        I'm opening a tracker entry on these issues. Thanks for the additional input.
        Aaron P Scooter Software

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        • #5
          Further to Michael's comment. I had not tried editing after doing a "save as", I was interested in editing the text to improve the matching process so I could investigate what had changed in the document. After that I would probably discard the edits. I found the tick-box for "disable editing" on the File Formats - Conversion tab, but it was greyed out. Then I tried a "save as" and found that it would overwrite the source document with a text file but would use exactly the same name and extension.

          This was all on BC3.0.15. I have not tried BC3.1 yet.

          Adrian

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          • #6
            The pre-processed file in the text compare is no longer a Word document...it is a text file. One of the purposes of a "Save As..." dialog is to let you specify what file format you want to used during the save. In other words, you would want to specify a .txt file extension to create a new text file. You would not want to replace the original Word Document with the .doc file extension!

            Once you've saved a copy of the text in a new .txt file, you should be able to edit the text to improve the matching process as you've described. As my post stated, the "disable editing" checkbox remains grayed out for the side that has been "Saved As" a new .txt file. Really, the checkbox should be re-enabled and editing should be allowed for the side that was saved as a new text file. That is why I called it a bug.
            BC v4.0.7 build 19761
            ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

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            • #7
              The next release will work like Michael is describing; once you save it as a text file it will re-enable editing since it won't be a .doc file anymore. We aren't likely to make it easy to edit the files other than that; there are too many inexperienced users who will either accidentally corrupt their data or wonder why saving doesn't work.
              Zoë P Scooter Software

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              • #8
                I agree with Michael's assessment. I would add that the BC3 "save as" dialogue gave the document format as ".doc" so just pressing "save" would overwrite and hence lose the original file. As BC3 will write simple text into the file it should default the document format to be ".txt".

                Adrian

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                • #9
                  The current release no longer does that. It now leaves the filename and extension blank in this case.
                  Zoë P Scooter Software

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