How should change tracking be implemented?

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Ryan
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Post by Ryan » 2006-05-02 01:42:31

Harumph. I still vote for inline change-marking. Like so:

Image

I also would request that NWE use an editable style for the changed text. That way we could each determine how drastic our edits will appear.

cchapin
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Post by cchapin » 2006-05-03 06:33:27

I am okay with inline buttons if done well. If Nisus goes that route, I think it would be a good idea to be able to show and hide them.

Taking that concept a little farther, it might be a good idea to allow users to switch among four views:

1. Hide buttons; show strikethrough and redline (Mark-up View)
2. Show buttons, strikethrough and redline (Review View -- yeah, the name is awkward)
3. Hide buttons and strikethrough; show redline text ("After" View)
4. Hide buttons and redline; show strikethrough text ("Before" View)

However, I don't think it would be a good idea to allow editing in the "After" or "Before" view. There would need to be some visual clue when NWE is in either of those.

I like your suggestion about having editable styles for strikethrough and redline. Depending on the situation, I sometimes give my ad hoc strikethrough and redline styles a garish highlight color so that they will stand out, but that is too ugly for widespread use.

--Craig

cchapin
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Post by cchapin » 2006-05-03 09:33:42

I remember that, when I first started using the Accept/Reject Change feature in some other application (Microsoft Word?), the buttons confused me. Accepting or rejecting an insertion was straightforward, but accepting or rejecting a deletion was not as intuitive. Like some double-negatives, it required some thought. By clicking the red X (or whatever it was), would I remove the text marked for deletion or restore it? For a while, each time I started to use the feature, I had this uncertainty and clicked the wrong button in some cases.

Whatever kind of change-tracking/document compare/mark-up system Nisus eventually implements, I think some thought should go into this. This applies whether the buttons are inline, in the margin or in a palette.

Perhaps instead of an X, the Reject button could be similar to the Undo button in the tool bar. Maybe it should be called a Revert button.

Could the Accept button then be different for insertions and deletions? Copyediting marks --
Image and Image
-- work for me, but they probably wouldn't be understood widely enough. How about an eraser or a generic white-out brush for accepting a deletion and a pen nib, an "OK" stamp or a check mark for accepting an insertion?

Maybe I am just particularly dense, but I remember this frustrating me at one point in time. Thoughts?

--Craig

JBL
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Post by JBL » 2006-05-03 13:34:59

I agree that the "accept deletion" has an unnatural double negative to it, and I have incorrectly "deleted deletions" a couple times in Word. I think Ryan's mock up above solves this problem... if you click the red button you get the stuff underlined in red, if you click the green button, you get the stuff underlined in green. That seems pretty intuitive to me.

One thing I want to come back to from my original post... Please, if someone inserts some text, and then changes a word in the text they inserted, and then changes the spelling of that word, it should only be one click to accept the final version not three. More than anything else, that is what I hate about Word's change tracking.

cchapin
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Post by cchapin » 2006-05-03 18:23:53

JBL wrote:if you click the red button you get the stuff underlined in red, if you click the green button, you get the stuff underlined in green. That seems pretty intuitive to me.
I think the red underline in Ryan's example is just Nisus telling him that it doesn't recognize the spelling of the word Birdwing. His example included only an insertion, not a deletion. But what you wrote inspired me to make the following image to see how intuitive a color-coded solution would be. I changed the color scheme since I figure redlined text should be red. I think it could work. What do you think?

Image
if someone inserts some text, and then changes a word in the text they inserted, and then changes the spelling of that word, it should only be one click to accept the final version not three.
I agree. If I edit an addition that I made previously, those two actions should not be counted separately.

Hm. That raises (in my mind at least) the question of how to handle round-robin editing. Say, Joe writes some copy. Anne makes some suggestions. Raul makes his own changes, including a rewording of something Anne added. How should the changes be represented? I'm not sure I have a great solution to that. Any thoughts?

--Craig

gemboy27
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hmmm

Post by gemboy27 » 2006-05-03 18:33:33

could I be the voice of treason

how much would people pay for this feature.

• I really like NWE, as is
• of course I don't need many features, for the most part I just want styles to write plays and for poems and leters I don't need many styles
• To me the changed text feature looks like alot of work, that maybe could be spent other places (I would love text that wraps around images)

• that aside, I would be okay playing $20 for an updated version that contained features I wouldn't use, just because I feel they have offered a good product so far and it isn't MS Word

• o and it isn't MS word
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education/Mark Twain (1835-1910)

JBL
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Re: hmmm

Post by JBL » 2006-05-04 13:17:41

gemboy27 wrote: how much would people pay for this feature.
Well, if it were compatible with Word's change tracking function (and I don't see why it couldn't be) it would double the value of Nisus to me so probably about $50. Seriously. I do about half my word processing in Word and that is almost entirely because people send me word documents with change tracking and (sometimes) expect me to send them back word documents with change tracking. I suppose I would still have to own Word because occasionally I get a form or something with a text box, but mostly I have to use Word because of change tracking.

gemboy27
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wooo boy

Post by gemboy27 » 2006-05-04 15:08:22

now we are talking some serious cabbage, but up the beta version for me to test

:P
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education/Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Mark XM
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Post by Mark XM » 2006-05-11 16:41:49

cchapin wrote:<clip>, here's a mock-up of a mark-up palette. <clip>

Image

<clip>
In my mind the two rightmost buttons would apply to the entire contiguous string of redlined or struck-through text even if it were not all selected.

Any reactions? Obviously if the buttons need explanation, the palette isn't terribly intuitive. This is just an idea.

--Craig

P.S. -- You'd be surprised how many edits I can fit on one line!
As a Kiwi friend used to say, "I'll drink to that!" (many edits on a single line ... I edit English written by Chinese speakers!)

I think this is a really good idea. I don't use Word any more ... since upgrading to OS-X without the money to upgrade Office too. I still have Office 98 running under Classic, but there are good reasons why I only use that in dire emergency. The only thing I miss about it is the redlining, etc.

Personally, I think a button palette such as this is perfectly intuitive, and all it would take would be a few lines in the help system to explain the buttons for those who don't see it immediately. I prefer the horizontal format, 'cos then they'd fit in with the other palettes--either in the dock, or on screen where I would put it--while taking up minimal space.

I guess the graphics brigade would have a lot to say about the design of the buttons ... :lol: but it's a great idea!

Nisus gods?

Mark

PS The inline buttons would make most of my texts unreadable, there are so many edits, so I would prefer the palette.

DXB Law
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Post by DXB Law » 2006-06-24 06:32:36

I'd really like to see both a compare documents and a track changes feature implemented (the compare documents would probably be more valuable to me); I don't much care what the interface looks like as long as the functionality works. I am an attorney and I use Nisus to deal with bilingual documents in Arabic (MS Word for Mac does not support Arabic) but I am forced to use Word to run the compare documents feature to compare the current version against an earlier version. Compare documents is a critical function. It doesn't work all that well in Word either (there used to be a great app called "Compare Rite" for this but sadly no longer) but it unfortunately essential.

cgc
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Post by cgc » 2006-06-28 17:26:49

midwinter wrote:I'm thinking of something simple like this:

Image

Sorry for the crappy image. I'm most definitely not a graphics guy!
When I saw your idea I imagined a SpellCheck-like function where a window would appear with "accept," "reject," or "modify." Of course there should also be the option of considering all changes in a sentence at once (for entire sentence accepting).

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