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The track changes feature works like a charm. I used it many years ago in a mixed LO Writer/M$ Word team.

What you call "ruining formatting" may be an impression of it because the feature displays both overstriken sequences for deleted text and underlined sequences for added text, intermixed with unmodified text. These visual effects are controlled independently from styles.

Of course, since the tracked document has much more data in it (deleted, added and untouched text), the paragraph formatting is slightly changed. But this is temporary (in both applications). Once you accept the changes (in the final step of proofreading), everything goes back to "normal".

The behaviour occurs while you are working on-screen. The backup format (.doc(x) or .odt) has nothing to do with it apart from keeping enough information for the feature.

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