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nicka
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Post by nicka » 2007-07-20 09:39:34

The problem, of course, is whether this is included in RTF or is a proprietary MS thing in Word. While tracking changes would be useful in NW, it would be 20 times more useful if the NW tracking could show up in MS Word and Word tracking could show up in NW.
Pretty much every Word feature is supported by rtf. Microsoft owns rtf and updates the format every time a new version of Word comes out, specifically so that it supports the new features. This happened early this year with the release of Word 2007 on PCs, for example.
Anyway, rtf has supported tracked changes since at least 1998.

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-20 15:29:12

MS doesn't "own" RTF except insofar as it is by far the biggest player and it dictates terms to the others, change RTF at will to suit itself.

I would hardly say MS's Word 2007 is compatible with RTF -- it uses XML format, and nothing else can open those .docs, not even the porevious Word versions let alone Word on Mac. You need a special translator. No doubt, Word 2007 operators can "save as" to RTF which ought then be able to be opened by others, but basically, a whole new bunch of translators is needed.

Actually, I wonder whether Papyrus can open 2007.doc files. It is XML too -- was long before MS. No doubt MS has done its usual "augmentation and improvement" job on XML, which it has been trying to have established as a standard.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

nicka
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Post by nicka » 2007-07-20 15:48:08

MS doesn't "own" RTF except insofar as it is by far the biggest player and it dictates terms to the others, change RTF at will to suit itself.
I meant it literally. They really do own and control the format: they bought it from DEC around 1990.

I am not certain that rtf supports absolutely every feature of Word 2007 files, but it is likely to be very close. Again, I meant it literally when I said that it was updated this year to support the new features in Word 2007. The new version is 1.9 and the specification is on MS's site, here.

The previous update, version 1.8, was to support features introduced by Word 2003.

In all recent versions of Word up to (but possibly not including) 2007 you can create, save and keep your document as .doc or as .rtf and see essentially no differences. All the quirky Word stuff is encodable either way: fields, headers, notes, tracked changes, embedded Excel files etc. etc. Rtf supports pretty much the whole lot.
Last edited by nicka on 2007-07-20 15:56:50, edited 1 time in total.

nicka
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Post by nicka » 2007-07-20 15:56:08

And about XML: it is not a file format, but a language, so the fact that Papyrus and Word 2007 (and Mellel) use XML formats doesn't mean that they use the same format, or that any of them can read the others' files.

Still, it should be easier to write converters between XML file formats than between proprietary formats, especially binary ones like doc format.

And you are right about MS in one respect: their XML format is weird.

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scottwhitlock
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Post by scottwhitlock » 2007-07-20 18:50:37

nicka is right on this one. Even the beta converter that Microsoft has released for .docx conversion converts those files into .rtf, because the new format basically is an .rtf file wrapped in XML (from what I understand, but I'm no programmer either). Anything Word can do, .rtf can do. And it is not a standard format, but a proprietary one that is well-documented.

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-20 19:09:34

Hmmm. Thanks, Nicka and Scott, that really gives me something to think about. I rather thought that .rtf was, in fact, a cooperative standard. Nice to learn something, and as usual, the way to learn something is on a Nisus forum! :D

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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