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How can I compare an ODT to a text document and keep the formatting from the ODT?

asked 2016-10-20 00:23:02 +0100

sigelac gravatar image

updated 2016-10-20 01:38:55 +0100

I have a large document that I sent to a friend for proofreading. That friend decided to save it as plain text and make the changes that way (don't ask me why, I guess she's old school). So, I'm trying to use the compare documents feature to pull those changes back in.

If I open the original document first, and then do Edit > Compare Documents..., the changes show up as if the original is the new one (what was inserted shows as deleted, etc.)

If I open the revised document first, the changes show up okay, but then the document is all in plain text. But, I want my headings, my block quotes, my italics, and all of that to stay.

Is there anyway to reverse the compare document feature, so I can start with the document that has the correct styles? Is there some way I can include the styles in the list of changes that I can accept and reject?

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answered 2016-10-20 17:14:43 +0100

sigelac gravatar image

Never mind, the answer is stupidly and embarrassingly simple. The changes are reversed, so I just have to treat insertions as deletions and deletions as insertions. If there weren't already answers here, I'd delete the question.

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answered 2016-10-20 14:35:18 +0100

pierre-yves samyn gravatar image


I do not reproduce the problem with my platform (5.2 & windows 7): I open first the original document, then EditTrack ChangesCompare Document▸selection of the .txt document

Original document is preserved: only changes are displayed as such...

What is your platform ?


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I'm using 4.4 on Linux Mint. What you described works, but the changes are reversed: the new parts of the revised document show up as deletions, and the removed parts as insertions. Maybe this has changed in LO 5 (could you verify, please?). But, I answered my own question, I just can't accept it because I don't have the karma.

sigelac gravatar imagesigelac ( 2016-10-20 17:17:44 +0100 )edit

answered 2016-10-20 14:11:59 +0100

updated 2016-10-20 14:23:56 +0100

I'm pretty sure you can't by using LO. Since she made it pure text, your best bet is to copypaste her texts in the place of yours without applying formatting her text most likely contains. Of course, you should try copypasting hers normally to see if there's any formatting accompanying it.

You don't tell what your OS is, but there are ways. Save your text as pure text and follow the platform-specific instructions:

  • Linux: diff ORIGINAL.txt EDITED.txt. diff's output ain't too friendly at telling what differs, but by seeing the lines you'll know there's a difference.
  • Mac: use the same as Linux.
  • Window$: you can use WinMerge or Notepad++ with the 'Compare' plugin.
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The problem with this is that I'd lose all of the styles in my original document, and I would have to search them out and reapply them. That is what I was trying to avoid. Anyway, I've discovered a better solution. (Also, you should check out Meld, much easier to use than Diff on linux).

sigelac gravatar imagesigelac ( 2016-10-20 17:21:28 +0100 )edit
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Asked: 2016-10-20 00:23:02 +0100

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Last updated: Oct 20 '16