eXtyles and Tracked Changes

Historically, eXtyles and Word’s Tracked Changes feature have been incompatible. During all eXtyles processes, eXtyles automatically accepts all tracked changes and disables the Tracked Changes tool. Unfortunately, adding the ability to preserve Tracked Changes—let alone track new changes made during eXtyles processing—poses many complex technical challenges.

Currently, one possible workflow solution is Word’s Compare/Combine tool, available on the Review ribbon. This tool lets you combine an earlier version of a document with a revised version of the document and mark all differences between the two as Tracked Changes. You can merge the changes into the revised document, retroactively converting all revisions to Tracked Changes; you can also save the combined document as a new document.

In an eXtyles workflow, this tool can be used to convert changes made by eXtyles to Tracked Changes. Any Tracked Changes or comments that were made before Document Activation, which are retained in the $original version of the document, can also be preserved and merged with eXtyles changes.

The tracking of Formatting changes can be disabled, avoiding the addition of many “noisy” changes caused by Paragraph Styling. You can also select how far back in the eXtyles process you want to track changes by selecting a particular $base file. If you want to track all changes, then you can select the $original file as the “original” file.

This process can be completed at any time. If the changes are combined into the working document, then eXtyles Activation is preserved. You can then enable Tracked Changes (which is not enabled) and send the document to other editors or authors for review or further editing. When the document is returned, and the document is still activated, you can safely accept or reject the changes and continue eXtyles processing.

To convert all eXtyles changes to Tracked Changes:

  1. When you are ready to convert eXtyles changes to Tracked Changes, save your working document.
  2. On the Review tab, select Compare, and then click Combine.
  3. Browse to select the $original version of your working document for your “Original document.”
  4. Browse to select your working document for your “Revised document.”
  5. Click More.
  6. Select which changes you want tracked. It is recommended that you disable “Formatting” changes.
  7. Select the level of granularity at which you want changes shown (word or character).
  8. Select which document in which you want to show the tracked changes. To update your working document with the tracked changes, select “Revised document;” Activation will be preserved.
  9. Click OK to show combined changes.

Because of the extent and complexity of the changes that eXtyles makes to references, Word is unable to track the changes with any degree of granularity. Instead, the original reference is tracked as ”deleted” and the revised reference is tracked as “inserted.”

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