Track changes a la Word - possible?

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Track changes a la Word - possible?

Unread postby Dave Gehman » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:13 pm

Is there a way to track changes within topics? We're not sure Subversion does what we want...

We're advancing toward a project with multiple TOCs, one TOC of which will be WebHelp, with full verbiage; and a second TOC that will act as source for a PowerPoint (via Word), containing very much summarized words.

The project will undergo multiple revisions over the next 6 months.

Is there a way for the PPT guy to look at the H+M page - or some H+M output - and see what's been changed in a given rev level?

Let's say we have V3.1 on Monday and V3.2 on Friday. Is there a way to see what's different in Friday's content? A quick, visual way?

Maybe output Monday's content to Word... then output Friday's content to Word... then use Word's compare function across the two?
Dave Gehman
 
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Re: Track changes a la Word - possible?

Unread postby Tim Green » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:10 am

Hi Dave,

Help+Manual does not have content-level change tracking like that in MS Word and similar programs, so I'm afraid you will not be able to automatically mark or highlight only the changes. The PDF output can include author comments inserted in the projects, optionally, but since there is no change tracking you will not get that. If that is what you need we recommend that you make Word DOCX versions of the old and new versions of the project and then compare the documents in Word. That will give you highlighting for all the changes that your manager can sign off on.

What Help+Manual does have is a history function for every project, with which you can perform manual before/after comparisons between different versions return to any saved version of a topic at any time. See here for details:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/help/inde ... istory.htm

In addition to this HM supports modern version control systems (currently Subversion, which is free, and MS Team Foundation Server), which maintains a central copy of your projects and all changes on a server that can also be accessed via the Internet. These systems have functions that compare the source of your projects and topics and allow you to locate the differences.

Version control systems also allow authors in the same or different locations to collaborate on the same projects and synchronize their work efficiently. They make it possible for authors to work on collaborative projects offline -- even on a train or a plane. See this chapter in the help for details:

https://www.helpandmanual.com/help/inde ... ed_vcs.htm

Full, content-level change tracking like that in Word is not currently planned, however.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Track changes a la Word - possible?

Unread postby Dave Gehman » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:14 pm

So, (double-checking) it's basically what I said in my initial post:

Dave Gehman wrote:....output Monday's content to Word... then output Friday's content to Word... then use Word's compare function across the two....


We're also trying to noodle out H+M Server.

We are a virtual company with 50 employees across the US, Mexico, Germany, Belarus, India, and Japan. H+M Server is only for LANs, right? Does that mean that, say, 4 authors on a Server license have to be at one physical location?

Right now, we potentially have 4 users, all in home offices: Framingham & Dover, Massachusetts; Grand Marais, Minnesota; and Minsk, Belarus. Our servers are in the Azure cloud. If we were to decide to operate with 4 authors, do we have to purchase 4 H+M Professional licenses?

Microsoft suggests that connected, cloud-based users are "sort of" on a LAN:

Microsoft Cloublogs, 9 Aug. 2015 wrote: As the name suggests, a VPN allows two or more devices to share data across a public network – such as the internet – but otherwise behaves in the same way as a private one, like your office LAN. So, no matter where your users are in the world, they can access work resources just as if they were on your premises.


We certainly use our Azure connectivity this way. Does H+M Server support this arrangement?
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Re: Track changes a la Word - possible?

Unread postby Tim Green » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:21 pm

Hi Dave,

Does that mean that, say, 4 authors on a Server license have to be at one physical location?

At the moment, yes, since Help+Manual is actually started physically via the network and runs on the user's client machine. Doing that via any kind of WAN connection, including and in particular a VPN, is both much too slow and potentially dangerous, as any glitches in the connection carry the possibility of data corruption and/or loss.

The only way to use the Server licenses remotely safely is via Remote Desktop or a similar solution (LogMeIn, GoToMyPC etc). Then HM is actually running on a machine in the main office and editing the project there. The remote connection is effectively just a (very) long cable to the keyboard and mouse and monitor, and a loss of connection doesn't endanger any data. It is still an open question whether it is fast enough or not.

There are plans to change this in the future, moving to server-based license management.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: Track changes a la Word - possible?

Unread postby Dave Gehman » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:29 pm

I see.

There are plans to change this in the future, moving to server-based license management.


It currently looks as though we'll have to wait until this change is in place. As with many self-funded startups, everything is approached on a least-cost basis.
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