Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Combining multiple documents containing changes
Combining multiple documents containing changes
When combining or merging changes from multiple documents, it doesn’t matter if the
changes have been tracked. At the end of the process, changes attributable to any given
reviewer will be tracked due to the way the documents are combined.
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The only loss for untracked changes is that you won’t know exactly when the changes were made. For example, if a
reviewer was making changes at 4:00 a.m., you won’t know that. Depending on the reviewer, that could matter a lot,
affecting how seriously you consider such sleep-deprived comments.
Suppose, for example, that document A is the original document written by Lisa Bucki, and
that document B has changes that were made by Jim Smith — some of them tracked and
some of them not. When you combine document A and document B, everything that is
different in document B will be attributed to Jim Smith, whether tracked or not.
When you combine documents, you have the same options you have when you compare
them, in terms of where the combined changes go. It works best if you always combine
changes into the same document, preferably the original to which the other changes were
applied. Suppose that you start with document A and give it to four reviewers. Each of
them takes a whack at it at the same time, so you end up with four different revisions
to document A. Let’s call those revisions Bob, Jim, Ted, and Lisa. There is no temporal
sequence, and it doesn’t matter when each is compared with the original, A.
One way to proceed is as follows (keeping in mind that the order for combining with Bob,
Jim, Ted, and Lisa doesn’t matter):
Compare A with Bob’s version, putting the results in A. Save A.
Compare A with Jim’s version, putting the results in A. Save A.
Compare A with Ted’s version, putting the results in A. Save A.
Compare A with Lisa’s version, putting the results in A.
At the end of the process, A will contain tracked changes from each of the four reviewers.
It won’t necessarily be easy to sort out, but all of the changes will be in a single document.
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