[Writer] How to display "weak" margin revision marks?


This is the workflow adopted for long-lived documents. For easy understanding, suppose it is a user’s manual for some software.

When the next release is planned, the user’s manual enters revision phase. Source material is the manual for the active release. Revision mode is enabled in the .odt document and revision team contributors patch the relevant sections.

Everybody in the team can see each other’s proposal: LO shows the original text and the new text (eventually with comments, questions, author’s name and time stamp in comment notes). Revision bars are added in the left margin to highlight where changes occur.

An editing committee discusses the proposals and amends them. When an agreement is reached, the editor-in-chief accepts the revisions which are incorporated into the to-be-final document (and removes comments).

Unfortunately, at this step, all revision information disappears. When the manual is distributed to the end users, they have no clues about what has changed. Their only resort is to re-read the manual in its entirety. This is not user-friendly.

Is there any “intermediate” revision mode setting where the revision history is removed (keeping only the “production” text) but where the margin revision bars are still present?

Of course, to start a new revision iteration, this mode must be reset to “all accepted revisions” so that the revision bars are also removed.

You could mimic this by using Edit>Track Changes>Compare Document…
First open recent edition of manual, then compare with previous edition. In the dialog mentioned above select filter action > deletions and accept all those. Additions are displayed with margin revision bars.

This likely requires an enhancement request be raised (I cannot find a related one). Is there a precedent workflow in MS Word that can be referred to? This would assist with getting the enhancement request validated. It requires care in description as this is somewhat complex workflow (which is largely indicative of track changes with multiple users). The document revision system is still being developed to handle more complex edits i.e., refer bug tdf#56266.

EDIT: Also refer enhancements tdf#34355 and tdf#97282.

I have not used MS Word professionally for about a decade, since I last changed job; I can then not tell if such a feature exists in MS Word.

My idea is track changes should be 3-state. In state 0, you do not track and display nothing (presently, mode not enabled). In state 1, changes are tracked and displayed (presently, mode enabled) with change bars in left margin as a bonus. In state 2 (new proposal), changes have been accepted but mode is not reset to state 0. Change information …

… is still available (maybe in a reduced form) so that change bars can be displayed in left margin. Text displayed is in its final form. Another “accept changes” action is needed to revert to state 0 (changes not tracked).

Remark 1: bug 56266 does not seem to exist.

Remark 2: I have retagged question with track_changes which is a better description.