Implementing the bracket notation system in


Article from Issue 72/2006

We’ll show you a universal system for marking changes in text documents; and along the way, you’ll get some practical experience with writing OpenOffice marcos.

The Changes feature in is an essential tool for collaborative editing. Although it is easy to understand, this feature has a couple of serious drawbacks. First, Changes works best only when you are dealing with’s native formats. If your peers are using Microsoft Office, there is no guarantee that changes will survive back-and-forth conversion. And if your colleagues are using any other word processor, such as AbiWord, TextMaker, or KWord, you are completely out of luck. Secondly, the Changes feature is not the most elegant solution out there, and it can sometimes be quite cumbersome.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with these limitations. Instead, you can implement an alternative solution for marking changes in a document. This alternative is known as bracket notation. Although bracket notation is not a new idea, it is best explained and implemented by the people behind the Get Humanized blog [1].

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