Tools for collaborative editing of documents

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Original Message

From: Jean Blaylock, posted on 2009/03/17

Does anyone know of any tools like Word's 'track changes' that would facilitate displaying changes from more than a few people?

Situation: a strategy document for a network of around 50 member organisations which they are receiving for comment in order that eventually we get a document to which they all sign up. A working group of twelve people has drafted the strategy document and will need to receive and take account of all the comments made.

Technically they could all be put into one Word track changes, but the document becomes incredibly hard to follow (although at least the areas where there is absolutely no dispute stand out).

Realistically this probably has to be a tool where one person compiles the comments into some form that the working group can then go through. Ideally it would be lovely to have some kind of online tool where the network members could see others comments as they make their own; this would help to build understanding of the range of positions and easier acceptance if their changes are not all taken on. But my main wish is to make sure as many as possible do give their comments, and I don't want to create extra barriers through unfamiliar software.

We have looked at TextFlow , which looks to be developing into a nice tool, but it is really designed for one person to assess multiple comments and accept or reject. There is no way to save the document in its multiple comment stage and then share this with others.

Contributors

All replies in full are available in the discussion page. Contributions received with thanks from:

Jean Blaylock
Stephen Bounds
Jaap Pels
Rahul Dewan
Pete Cranston
Matt Moore
Sam Lanfranco
Kim Tucker
Paul Mundy
Ephraim Freed
Lucie Lamoureux

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