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problems to see comments and changes made by collaborators that use MS word

asked 2017-10-18 13:49:31 +0200

rouge gravatar image

I need to collaborate on text documents with other users, and unfortunately only few of them use LibreOffice (most of them use either MS Word or OpenOffice).

I am currently using LibreOffice (version 5.1.6.2) on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, using Writer to create and edit text documents.

I encountered many problems when it comes to see comments and changes made by collaborators that use MS word instead of LibreOffice.

In all "problematic" cases, I saved the documents in the .docx format instead of .odt before sending them to the collaborators. Apparently they can open them, see my changes and comments, and even make new comments and changes. However, when they sent me the document back I could only see my original comments and changes, and not the ones made by the collaborators!

I browsed the web to find solutions to this rather big problem, but couldn't find any: Is this an issue that already has a fix?

Is the only real way to effectively collaborate on a document to all use the same text editor? :(

Many thanks in advance

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Deleted a spam answer for this question by @Hard_Work.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-07-14 12:46:06 +0200 )edit

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answered 2017-10-18 15:37:57 +0200

Lupp gravatar image

updated 2017-10-18 15:40:37 +0200

Quoting from the OQ: "Is the only real way to effectively collaborate on a document to all use the same text editor?"

It's not the only way generally, but surely the best. Another way is to come to an agreement about what tools to use, and in what way precisely, based on experiences about compatibility. Full compatibility will never be, and if it seemed to be achieved one day it would break the next day.

Is LibO "simply better" in saving comments and changes in the docx format than MS Word is?
A miracle ? Probably no. Cui bono?

Cooperating groups forced to use .doc or .docx are a lock-in tool probably. Or do you expect the "adepts" in Word will consider to shift to LibO to ease things? They may be convinced they have "the real" text program.

What does some member of the group using A OO himself tell about his (f/m) experiences? LibO is told to be "better in docx", but facts are more valuable than sayings - and A OO will also run on your system. You might decide to shift to AOO. (But AOO is no longer clearly under active development.)

A guess: You won't generally and for all time recover from this problem. Those who wouldn't like that are in power.

You cannot compare Word and Writer under common terms. The one has to be a dealable "good" and developers have to regard commercial requirements, the other one is expected to be "good" software and to fully support the internationally approved standards (Open Document Format for Office Applications).

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Thank for your answer, Lupp.

For the time being I will try reading those documents using OpenOffice, and see if it can at least partially solve the problem.

And for the future, I'll try to convince any collaborator to use LibreOffice ;)

rouge gravatar imagerouge ( 2017-10-18 15:44:12 +0200 )edit

You will surely succeed with your future strategy.
For my part I missed to mention that there may well occur problems concerning collaborators using different versions of 'Word'. In fact such problems should be expected.
Incompatibilities concerning software for the same purpose from the same "vendor" would surely vanish if everybody used LibO. No fee for the most recent release to use by everyone!

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2017-10-18 16:45:39 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-10-18 13:49:31 +0200

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Last updated: Oct 18 '17