Module "Word Roundtrip - compare function"

July 23, 2021

We call Word Roundtrip an intelligent comparison feature, not only because it allows a user to compare SMASHDOCs and Word documents, but also to merge changes made in MS Word into SMASHDOCs, preserving the complete document and comment history in SMASHDOCs.

Involving stakeholders in the coordination process can not always guarantee that all contributors can or will work with SMASHDOCs. That's why we developed Word Roundtrip.

Despite the complexity of the feature, its ease of use allows the individual user to make all the desired changes in the usual way in the Word document. You can then compare this Word document with the existing SMASHDOCs document and evaluate the changes in the comparison report.

1Intelligent comparison process at one glance

Firstly, select the option "Compare" in a SMASHDOCs document.

Button "Compare" highlighted in the document options menu

You can select documents for comparison by either

dragging and dropping a MS Word or sdox file in the dialogue or

searching a sdox or Word document on his computer or

Dialogue to define sdox and Word files for comparison

searching a SMASHDOC document in his SMASHDOCs app

Dialogue to search for documents in user's SMASHDOCs app

Pre-selected documents are shown in a list. You can change the order in that list or delete a pre-selected document from this list before starting the comparison process.

List of documents to be compared

After the adding of a creator, this information will be also placed under the name of a child document in the comparison report.

Changes from a creator highlighted

By inserting a creator`s name, you can be sure that the information to the merged changes will include the WORD document creator and also be divided from the information about the user who merged those changes in SMASHDOCs.

Dividing of Word document creator and person that merged changes into the SMASHDOC highlighted

Lastly, you can also cancel the comparison process by clicking on the "X" button (in the right upper corner). In this case, all files the were chosen for comparison will be deleted, so the list is empty when you start the comparison process again.

2Comparison report of two selected documents

After clicking on the "Compare" button, the comparison report will be displayed. It examines two documents and informs you of the similarities and differences between them. Hence, not only are all the gaps being respectively highlighted, SMASHDOCs automatically scrolls to the first change in the comparison report.

You are able to understand changes to the following types of information:

Text components

Images and image captions

Tables and table captions

Footnotes

Weblinks - if the URL is not the same as the label and the URL has been changed

Comments

Cross-references

Side notes

Index entries

Change of inline and paragraph styles

Change of numbering level to a text component

Exemplary presentation of a comparison report:

Comparison report for 2 documents in synoptical view

Column 1 shows the current state of the SMASHDOC, from which the comparison process was started, including all unresolved comments and replies. From column 2 onwards, the content changes between the comparison documents and the SMASHDOC are displayed, as well as all new comments or new responses to existing comments.

You can choose, in which view you want to get the comparison report of two documents - synoptical or merged in 1. Remember, that this option is available, only if you compare not more than 2 documents. For that you have to select an appropriate view in the right upper corner (see Image 7). If you choose synoptical type, you will get the comparison report of your document in 2-column view. In case you choose 'Merged in 1', your comparison report will look like already merged documents.

'Merged in 1' type of comparison report view is highlighted

3Merging documents

For the "Merge" button to be shown in the comparison report, the document in SMASHDOCs has to be in the review mode obligatory. Then you can click on the "Merge all" button under the name of a child document to merge all the suggested changes into the main document. If you only want to accept some of the suggested changes, then click on the "Merge" button near the relevant components.

'Merge all' button highlighted in the comparison report

'Merge' button near the components highlighted

Once you click 'Merge all' button, you will get a modal window to confirm merging all changes from an .sdox file.

Merging all changes from sdox file highlighted

Here you have to decide, whether you need to create a snapshot to remember what you have imported or you want to proceed merging without a snapshot. In case you click 'Yes', inserting details about a snapshot will be required.

Snapshot details highlighted

After that wait a moment until merging process is successfully completed and you will get a notification that it is ready.

Merging process completed

Your document will then have highlighted parts with merged changes.

Merged changes in a document highlighted

And if you have requested a snapshot before, it will be automatically created after merging.

4Comparison report of three and more documents

In case you compare three and more documents, the "Merge all" button appears next to each child document. Once you click on it, all changes from all child documents will be implemented into the first "master" document.

Comparison report of three documents highlighted

As a result, you will get the SMASHDOC, where all merged changes become unseen and should be decided upon - either accepted or rejected.

Pending changes highlighted in the document after the merge

Moreover, for your convenience, you can see all the components with changes in the separate list right away:

List with changes in the comparison report

If you need to highlight a required component to see the changes exactly in a chosen one, click on this component in the part 'Components with changes' and in child and master documents this component will be shown in a border for you to find changes in it easily.

Highlighted component with changes in the comparison report

Also, feel free to open the comparison report settings and select how many documents should be shown at once in the comparison report if there are multiple documents to be compared. You can also move them to get another order of comparing documents and deactivate them during the comparison process.

Settings of comparison report highlighted

This way, you can have a clear comparison overview of the selected documents that shows all changes and differences between compared documents, e.g. changes in text components, adding/deletion the image, adding/deletion the comment etc. At the top of the page you will see the names of the documents you have selected and below there will be the information of comparison report:

Display of 3/3 documents in the comparison report