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Can you diff two Word docs with Word? Afaik you can only hit the "track changes" button, which doesn't help if you got a new version of a document from someone else.

Tools, Track Changes, Compare Documents ...


Had this forever, here's a visual on old version of Word:


For more advanced, try legal blacklining:


Or combine multiple sources of a similar document:


None of that is version control. At best that's a visual based manual patch file tool.

That you can't concat two word files together in 2018 is ridiculous.

> That you can’t concat two word files

Of course you can!

# cat word1.doc word2.doc > word3.doc

Sounds ludicrous? So does your statement.

Setting aside the hyperbole, I believe it would be a conceptual nightmare to start defining concat of two docs. For simple cases, feel free to make copy pasta :-)

> I believe it would be a conceptual nightmare to start defining concat of two docs.

Just append the pages of document 2 to the end of document 1. Then the user can decide whether to remove the page break introduced by it. I have this in my env for doing this with PDF:

  $ cat =concatpdf
  if [ "$1" = "to" ]; then
      gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=$*
      echo Usage: concatpdf to out.pdf in.pdf in2.pdf in3.pdf
The peculiar syntax with "to" ensures that I do not invocate it incorrectly.

    $ pandoc file1.md file2.md -o file.docx
Tada, I two files into one word file.

It isn't difficult. TeX and LaTeX have been doing it since the 70s and 80s respectively.

Yes, and you can merge changes too.

Classic Word workflow: I make a document and send it to my boss; he makes some changes but suggests further research etc. and sends me his altered version, but I stupidly work on my own version. Making this right takes like four clicks.

Syncdocs [0] is also pretty good for merging and tracking changes between Word and Google Docs. It also has a feature with real-time collaboration between Google Docs and Word.

[0] https://www.syncdocs.com/

I have been searching for this for a long time and not able to achieve it without resorting to manual copy and paste from one doc to the other.

This sounds like utopia. :-) Do you have a link to a page that outlines these steps?

It works if you don't change formatting, don't edit the same section, don't rearrange chapters and don't have lots of changes or a large document. You do any of that, and the application crashes.

It's good for a small fix, but not something to rely upon in your main documentation workflow.

Even if you can do it with Word, GUI interactions aren't composable and extensible the way shell commands are, so you're limited to the features the GUI designer thought of.

>GUI interactions aren't composable and extensible the way shell commands are

They might not be in word, but they absolutely can be, and in fact are a superset of CLI interactions (since a GUI interaction step in e.g. Automator can invoke any shell command).

>so you're limited to the features the GUI designer thought of

And in the traditional shell pipeline (that is, not Powershell) I'm limited to working on dumb streams from one command to another.

Completely new to this: so you're highlighting the differences between two documents in word? say 2 terms of service 1 old and 1 new?


Hmmm. Wonder what "track changes" does if you Ctrl-A highlight the entire old doc, and paste the entire new doc over it.

(I imagine it registers it as one huge change, rather than tracking a zillion individual changes, but it might be interesting to try.)

It does exactly that. I don't know why someone downvoted you for that comment.

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