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#  Thursday, October 20, 2005

To put this into the right perspective - I am a very peculiar user of word processing applications. I spend most of my time with writing or reviewing documents. That is, the feature areas I care about most are revision tracking and commenting.

To illustrate my point, I took the following screenshot of Word:

This is a rather orderly document, with one comment tacked to a section of a sentence, plus I added "stuff" (a pointless edit). During the lifetime of this document, more comments will be added, as well as edits by multiple people.

So what do I do once all comments are in? Yep, accept or reject the changes. If I am fine with the changes, I mark that block containing all the changes, and go to the toolbar to accept the changes:

That's how it works in Microsoft Word. Now let's take a look at OpenOffice.org Writer:

I couldn't care less about the missing toolbar to access the reviewing functionality directly, however, I do care deeply about the internal workings:

  • Comments Added via Insert / Note. But don't make the mistake to expect to be able to select a portion of your text to associate it with - once the note is inserted, the marked text is deleted!
  • Changes Making changes to the document works as expected. But look at the above screenshot again: yes, accepting and rejecting changes is done in a separate dialog box! See for yourself:

That might be practical for a small document, but definitely not for one that was reviewed by 5+ people and contains 100+ changes (which, funny enough, does happen a lot for specification documents or book chapters...).

Without a proper editing workflow, OOo is not going to play a major part in my everyday work process any time soon.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005 3:32:26 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


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