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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2018 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Jun 4, 2018

WordPerfect Tips
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Using "Document Compare"


WordPerfect menu choices refer to the <WordPerfect> menu (right-click on the top menu bar for a choice of menus). If you use a <Microsoft Word> menu, the choices might be absent from your menu (but not from the program), or they might be found under another menu selection. See here for more.


Related pages -

•  Document Review -

Does the Document Review dialog box keep coming up even after you are finished reviewing the document with File, Document, Compare, Compare/ Review?

Here's how to
-  stop it from appearing,
and/or
-  remove the feature's special Insertion and Deletion codes



WordPerfect can help you see how your document has changed in comparison to an earlier version of the document. This is the File, Document, Compare, Compare Only feature.

This is a related, but separate, feature as
File, Document, Compare, Compare/Review.

Notes on the Compare/Review feature:

•  The inexpensive Home and Student edition does not include the Review feature. See here for more on various WordPerfect versions and editions.

•  For those who need to collaborate on documents, Laura Acklen has written a chapter entitled "Collaborating on Documents" in her book, Special Edition - Using WordPerfect Office X3 [Amazon's Kindle edition here]. In it she explains how to use WordPerfect's Comments feature, the Highlight tool, and the document Review feature. If you need these tools you might consider purchasing her book.

•  The Review feature uses special internal codes for inserted and deleted material, not the similar-looking file appearance attribute codes (e.g., on the Format, Font menu). This sometimes can cause the Document Review dialog box to keep appearing when you not longer need it. Or you might just want to remove those special codes. See some easy solutions on this page.


Document Compare (File, Document, Compare, Compare Only)

There are two general reasons to use this feature

1. Make collaboration easy: If you are working with others to create a document you can collaborate more easily by using Document Compare. It allows you to compare the current version of a document to an earlier version and display the changes that were made.

2. Trap errors and unwanted changes: As Laura Acklen wrote in her book (see reference above),

"Despite all the advantages electronic file transfers can bring, you might be reluctant to distribute your documents electronically because of the possibility of accidental (or intentional) changes being made to the text.

Only by comparing a reviewed [or revised] document to the original can you be sure that no unauthorized [or unwanted] changes were made. The Document Compare feature compares two copies of a document and inserts revision marks for you. If text has been added, it's displayed in redline; if text has been deleted, it's copied back into the document as strikeout text." [See Footnote 1 about the differences in redline and strikeout as they are used in the two types of document Compare.]

Typically, you open the reviewed or revised document first. Then you compare it to the original.

Setting your preferences

The first thing you should do is specify (or verify) the settings for comparing the two documents. Use File, Document, Compare; then click Settings, Compare Only.

Document Compare dialog - Settings button

The Document Compare Settings dialog that appears lets you choose to compare the documents' text word by word or character by character, text to exclude from the comparison, etc.  Other tabs on that dialog let you change the appearance of inserted and/or deleted text (or moved text), and the Redline method (type and location).

Document Compare Settings dialog

•  You can use the Help button on the dialog for more information.

•  In WordPerfect Help (F1) you can use the Search tab
and look for "Changing the settings for document review and comparison" (or similar in earlier versions).

Comparing the documents

From WordPerfect X9: "When comparing documents, you can generate a comparison summary and a list of changes. A comparison summary describes the color and the attributes used to display deletions and insertions. It also lists the number of deletions, insertions, and moves that were made. The list of changes details all of the changes made in the document. ..."

To compare one document to another, you first need to open a document in WordPerfect and then choose the document (in the "With:" field) to use for the comparison (typically an earlier version).

You also need to decide if you want to display the changes ("markings") in a New document or in the Current document. (If you use the current document you can always immediately save it with a different name or just use Edit, Undo to remove the markings.)


Compare Documents dialog - Compare Only button

•  You can use the Help button on the dialog for more information.

•  In WordPerfect's Help (F1) use the Search tab and look for "Comparing documents."

Tip: You can remove markings later with File, Document, Remove Markings. However, before using this feature to remove Redline text — and particularly before removing Strikeout text — please review the notes of caution on the Other Authors page here.


Footnote 1

The displayed "redline" and "strikeout" items referred to here in relation to Compare/Review are not the same things produced by Format, Font, Redline/Strikeout -- which might have been applied by you or which are automatically applied with Compare Only.

Related tip: On some black & white printers Redline can be difficult to discern. See Footnote 2.

The items produced by Compare/Review may visually appear the same as the standard redline/strikeout text attributes on your screen. However, they are generated by special internal codes ([Insertion] and [Deletion]) that differ significantly from the latter's text attribute format codes (i.e., [Redln] and [StkOut]).

Related tip: Some users on WordPerfect Universe wanted to convert standard [Redln] and [StkOut] text attribute codes to the special codes used by Document Compare/Review so they could share the document among active reviewers. Here is the thread and a couple of (beta) macros to do it [reproduced in Footnote 3 below].


Footnote 2

If printed redline text shows up as standard or slightly faded text, it may be because of the following problem. From Corel's Knowledge Base (for WordPerfect 10, but it may apply to other versions):

"The printer driver installed on your computer determines the display style of printed redline text. Each printer type can produce printed redline text differently. However, in most cases you can configure a print job to display redline text against a shaded gray background.

To display printed redline text -

1 Click File > Print.
2 Click the Advanced tab.
3 In the Advanced options area, disable the Print in color check box.
4 Click Print."

[This does not always work but it is worth trying.]


Footnote 3

[Related tip:] Here are two (beta) macros (mentioned in the footnote above) from a thread on WordPerfect Universe concerned with converting all standard redline and strikeout attributes in a document to the internal codes used by Compare/Review:

"... these macros have not been thoroughly tested. Use them on a copy of your document to verify that they work for you.

Note that if you have both redline and strikeout format codes in the same document, playing the first macro ("Changes Redlined text to Inserted text") before playing the second one ("Changes Strikeout text to Deleted text") seems to work better than the other way around -- but I am not certain, since I haven't conducted thorough testing."

To copy the code below into your WordPerfect program to create working macros, see http://wptoolbox.com/tips/CopyCode.html.

BE SURE to insert the actual codes where indicated in each macro: Remove the text placeholder (shown in bold) for the code and use the Codes button on the macro toolbar to insert the actual binary code between the double quote marks. [There are 3 items in the first macro and 2 in the second one.]

First macro

Operation: The macro will exit from any substructure (header, etc.), set Search parameters to defaults, turn Reviewer mode off (if on), then search for redline codes, select the text between them, cut (delete) that selected text to the clipboard, delete the leftover redline code pair, add a space (if there's a non-space text character on the left), switch to Reviewer mode, paste the deleted text back into the document (i.e., as a Reviewer insertion), switch out of Reviewer mode (i.e., turn it off temporarily), and repeat the cycle until no more items are found. It then will delete all redline code pairs created with the Format feature. (Whew!)

// Changes Redlined text to Inserted text

pExitSubstructures ()
pResetFindReplace ()
ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Off!)
OnNotFound(End@)
PosDocVeryTop()
Typeover(Off!)
Repeat
    SearchString("[Redln On]")  // <- Insert [Redln On] with Codes button
    MatchPositionAfter()
    SearchNext(Extended!)
    SearchString("[Redln Off]")  // <- Insert [Redln Off] with Codes button
    MatchExtendSelection()
    SearchNext(Regular!)
    EditCut
    DeleteCharPrevious
    If(CtoN(?LeftChar)>32 and CtoN(?LeftChar)<127)
        Type(" ")
    Endif
    ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Mode:Reviewer!)
    EditPaste
    ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Off!)
Until(?NotFound)
Label(End@)
pResetFindReplace ()
// Remove all redline code pairs -
PosDocVeryTop
MatchSelection()
SearchString("[Redln On]")  // <- Insert [Redln On] code with Codes button
ReplaceAll(Extended!)

// OPTIONAL: Turn Reviewer mode on in the document -
ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Mode:Reviewer!)

Quit

Procedure pResetFindReplace ()
SearchString ("")
ReplaceString ("")
// Only one of these 4 Match commands
// can be active at any one time:
// MatchPositionAfter ()
// MatchExtendSelection()
// MatchPositionBefore()
MatchSelection()
SearchFindWholeWordsOnly (No!)
MatchWithAttributes (No!)
ReplaceWithAttributes (No!)
SearchCaseSensitive (No!)
ReplaceWithCase (No!)
MatchWithFont (No!)
ReplaceWithFont (No!)
MatchWithFontSize (No!)
ReplaceWithFontSize (No!)
SearchInSelection (No!)
SearchWordForms (No!)
SearchWrap (No!)
MatchLimit (No!)
EndProcedure

Procedure pExitSubstructures ()
While(?Substructure)
    vSubDoc:=?CurrentSubDoc
    SubstructureExit
    If(vSubDoc=10 or vSubDoc=11) BoxEnd(Save!) EndIf
EndWhile
vBoxType:=?BoxContentType
// If the cursor is in an image or a text box is selected, exit from it:
If(vBoxType=1 or vBoxType=3) BoxEnd(Save!) Endif
EndProc

Second macro

Operation: Similar to first macro.

// Changes Strikeout text to Deleted text

pExitSubstructures ()
pResetFindReplace ()
ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Off!)
OnNotFound(End@)
PosDocVeryTop()
Typeover(Off!)
Repeat
    SearchString("[StkOut On]")  // <- Insert [StkOut On] with Codes button
    MatchPositionBefore()
    SearchNext(Extended!)
    SearchString("[StkOut Off]")  // <- Insert [StkOut Off] with Codes button
    MatchExtendSelection()
    SearchNext(Regular!)
    ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Mode:Reviewer!)
    EditCut
    ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Off!)
Until(?NotFound)
Label(End@)
pResetFindReplace ()

// OPTIONAL: Turn Reviewer mode on in the document -
ReviewDocManualModeToggle (Mode:Reviewer!)

Quit

Procedure pResetFindReplace ()
SearchString ("")
ReplaceString ("")
// Only one of these 4 Match commands
// can be active at any one time:
// MatchPositionAfter ()
// MatchExtendSelection()
// MatchPositionBefore()
MatchSelection()
SearchFindWholeWordsOnly (No!)
MatchWithAttributes (No!)
ReplaceWithAttributes (No!)
SearchCaseSensitive (No!)
ReplaceWithCase (No!)
MatchWithFont (No!)
ReplaceWithFont (No!)
MatchWithFontSize (No!)
ReplaceWithFontSize (No!)
SearchInSelection (No!)
SearchWordForms (No!)
SearchWrap (No!)
MatchLimit (No!)
EndProcedure

Procedure pExitSubstructures ()
While(?Substructure)
    vSubDoc:=?CurrentSubDoc
    SubstructureExit
    If(vSubDoc=10 or vSubDoc=11) BoxEnd(Save!) EndIf
EndWhile
vBoxType:=?BoxContentType
// If the cursor is in an image or a text box is selected, exit from it:
If(vBoxType=1 or vBoxType=3) BoxEnd(Save!) Endif
EndProc