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Re: Revising documents: use change bars or a character tag??

I would use a change bar. It helps pick out the changes for reviewers, but doesn't obscure the text. It can be done automatically, and we use it all the time for revisions. There are some actions that will apply a revision bar to elements that have not changed, but you can select that text and clear the change bar.

If you really need to see what was there and how it changed, you can create two character formats, as I did recently to keep track of specific changes to a documentation plan. I named one format New and one format Old. Start creating each format in Character Designer by using the command Set Window to As Is. Change just the characteristics you that will identify new text and text that will be deleted. I set the
color for Old to blue and checked Strikethrough. I set the color for New to green. I left all other characteristics as is. This means that your body text will retain all characteristics of the body style except color (and, for Old, strikethrough), and your heading text will retain all characteristics of heading text, etc.

Once all changes have been reviewed and approved, it's easy to search on a character tag and find all of the Old text that should be deleted. You can also search for all New and set it to default font.

Tip (and please bear with me if you already know this; lots of people don't and it drastically reduces mousing): Name your character tags carefully and you can use the F8 shortcut to apply the formats. For example, if you have other character tags whose names start with N and O, choose different names for these tags. Select your text, press F8, then type the first letter of the format name. The name of the format
appears in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. Press F8 if the correct format name is displayed, and that format will be applied to the selected text. You can also select the character format by that method, then type the new text. Pressing F8 and Enter again sets the character style back to Default for the next thing you type. To revert to the default character style, select the text, press F8, then
press Enter.

The F8 key will work if you have multiple formats that start with the same letter; just keep typing until the format you want is displayed in the status bar. For example, if you have formats named Old and Overstrike, and want Overstrike, press F8 and type "ov" and press Enter. Or type O and press the down arrow key and press Enter.

F9 works the same way for paragraph formats.


Jane Post wrote:

> A member of our department (who also happens to be an owner whose job is to write code for  one of our application programs) needs to update one of our manuals. He is very well versed and really the best person to update the manual.
> He wanted to use Word (egads!) and note changes with its Change Tracking feature. I told him no, we'd already converted the doc to FrameMaker. He doesn't use FrameMaker at all -- although he did attend a class I taught 2 years ago.
> What is the best way for him to apply changes?? Using the change bar or creating a character tag that can be applied to any change? If the latter, then I need some help in creating that tag. I'd like it to be similar to the Emphasis tag that I can apply to any text and it still retains the original attributes (except for the font color and change bar being applied). If I'm on the wrong track -- please advise.
> Thanks for your help.
> Jane E. Post
> Jane@asconline.com
> ***************

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