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Collaborative Document Editing: How to Compare Rich Text Format Documents

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The Rich Text Format is a cross-platform document file format that is still seeing much use. Many available utilities make it possible to collaborate and compare Rich Text Format documents. Check additional information about compare rich text format.

The Rich Text Format refers to a document file format developed for cross-platform document interchange by Microsoft in 1987. Up to the present, most word processors are able to process and create documents in this file format, unlike other proprietary or otherwise specialized document formats. It was hailed at its release for being eminently human-readable, at least when compared to other word processing formats. As the rich text format became more widely used, the need not only to edit and create but also to compare rich text format documents arose.

This comparison is especially appropriate for the rich text format, since it is one of the document formats that are compatible between most current word processors. This means that collaboration between people who may or may not use the same kind of word processor becomes possible. And as with any collaborative venture, the ability to keep track of the changes and modifications made by the different individual collaborators is very important.

Of course, monitoring a single file could easily be done by simply inspecting the file visually, especially if it is a small file. But as the complexity increases, either by the file size and number of pages increasing, or by the number of files under consideration increasing, the monitoring task becomes increasingly difficult. Conceivably, there could be an entire set of rich text format documents that need to be monitored for changes and modifications. This is where the many comparison utilities that have become available come in handy.

These tools can take two documents, which may be different versions of the same document, and quickly highlight any differences. This saves a lot of labor in going through two documents line by line to spot small differences. In addition, many of these document tracking tools can also keep a record of the changes that have been performed on a document through time. This is a very useful feature that can help to prevent any confusion that may arise when collaboratively editing or contributing to a document.

A specific case wherein comparison of rich text format documents could come in handy would be in a team document editing process. When documents are passed from one person to another, many small changes might accrue along the way. Without a good way to keep track of these changes, the collaboration might not function effectively. With the use of a good editing and comparison tool, the document could be passed around without worrying about losing or negating previous changes.

With the portability of the rich text format, collaborative editing on such documents is commonplace. The proliferation of editing and comparison tools makes such endeavors simpler, easier, and more efficient. With the ability to track changes, edit, analyze, and compare rich text format documents, no group effort should go to waste, and any collaboration should proceed much more smoothly. Anyone finding the need to work with rich text format documents on a regular basis should definitely look into the many different tools available for use.

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