Writer: Copy/Paste text with Changes (Record Track Changes)


I’m using Writer
I use the “Record Track Changes” tool quite often.

Sometimes it is necessary to move a whole paragraph that has recorded changes, to another place in the document. However, when I copy or cut the text that contains changes (made with the Record Track Changes functionality), and then paste it elsewhere (within the same document or in a new one), the pasted text does NOT show the corrections or changes that were made.
I need to keep and be able to see those changes made to the original text after moving it.

Similar questions have been asked before (since 2012) but I have not yet seen a solution to it.
Here are some links to related questions:

I will appreciate if someone could tell me how to do it.

It would be nice if it could be implemented in newer versions of Writer.

Thank you very much.

It would be nice if it could be implemented in newer versions of Writer.

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This should work exactly as in Word. If you copy a section with recorded changes while NOT recording changes, then it just copies everything exactly as is, including all recorded changes. This is the one thing I’ve missed about Word since moving to Linux.

Answer to your question is very difficult.

First, a good definition for changes is necessary. Please, note I’m not a developer and consequently my remarks come from observed usage.

Changes are differences from a reference state. The reference state is created when you enable Edit>Track Changes>Record. Everything which existed before this event is considered the original document. Everything you type after is considered a change and will be displayed with fancy colours and effects.

Consider now a paragraph move. The move operation is decomposed into two elementary ones:

  • a delete operation of the source material
  • an insert operation at the destination location

From an author point of view, it is legitimate to keep the change history in the moved block(s) of text, but …

From an editor point of view (peer reading or review), moving a paragraph is a change. And it is a very important change because it may disrupts the smoothness of discourse or even cause inconsistencies (such as early reference to a point supposed to have been defined before the argumentation).

The editor should be notified of the deletion (therefore, the whole block is shown as deleted and this overrides the previous history) and of the insertion (the text is brand new there; there was nothing before and therefore the whole text is shown as new without prior history).

Perhaps Edit>Track Changes>Manage could give you some insight about the change history but, unfortunately, there is no display of the change itself. You may try to add comment there with a right-click on one of the items and Edit Comment but this requires a strict discipline.

Personally, I don’t see how to “tag” (to inform Writer) a move operation so that it is handled specially. This special handling nevertheless prevents an external editor to be warned about the move (the change history would be kept with the exception of the move itself).

In case you submit a feature request, you need to carefully specify what you expect, how it integrates with the existing feature and, most important, why a move operation (supposing you know how to designate it as such and is different from the simple common deletion-insertion pair) should keep the original change history (in which use case it is important to ignore the fact the block was moved).

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Thank you for your fast and very detailed answer.
About the Edit>Track Changes>Manage, it does not help at all, since all the recorded changes disappear as along with the original paragraph once it its moved/cut. This means that I can not see in the “Manage Changes box” the recorded changes made to said paragraph before it was moved, whether I move it with recorded changes on or off.
So in short, what I’m looking for is not possible in current versions.
Maybe I should submit a feature request as you said.
Regarding the upvote, it says “>5 points required to upvote”.