June 12, 2012
Diffing Microsoft Word Files From Surround SCM
One of the features I use almost daily in Surround SCM is viewing differences between two Microsoft Word documents. It is much quicker to start the comparison from Surround SCM instead of Word because you can select the files to compare in Surround instead of getting multiple file versions and then searching for the documents to diff on your computer. You diff Word files the same way you diff text files. I typically select the two versions I want to compare in the History pane in the source tree view and then click Differences. The most recent version of the Word document opens and differences between the two versions are displayed as tracked changes.
You can also compare a document version with the same document in another branch or another document in a different location, such as your hard drive. Right-click the current version in the file list or one version in the History pane and choose Differences. If you prefer to view the two documents side by side instead of in one document with tracked changes, you can change your Surround SCM user options. Choose Tools > User Options and then select Application Settings. To view the two compared documents side by side, select Side by Side. To view differences between two documents as tracked changes in Word, select Compare and Merge. If you use a newer version of Word, you may want to check your diff user options to make sure the .docx extension is added. In the User Options dialog box, select the Diff/Merge category. If *.docx is not listed as a file type for Microsoft Word Compare, you need to add it. Select Microsoft Word Compare and click Edit. Enter *.docx in the File extensions field (use a semicolon to separate multiple extensions) and then click OK. Click OK to close the User Options dialog box. Keep in mind that you can also merge two Word documents from Surround.