[OS X TeX] Functionality for collaborative work in TeXShop?

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Wed May 25 10:30:35 EDT 2005

On 25 May 2005, at 16:01, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> I was just asked by a colleague -- TeXShop convert from a few  
> months ago -- whether there is in TeXShop a functionality for  
> marking changes in a document written collaboratively by several  
> persons, à la Word, namely by (assuming I understood correctly,  
> given I don't use Word myself for writing):
> - Putting in different colors pieces of text written or modified by  
> different persons.
> - Putting delete bars through deleted text.
> I imagine this is not a job for a front-end like TeXShop, and that  
> the functionality has instead to be looked for in a dedicated LaTeX  
> package.

Not in TeXShop itself, but there are scripts out there that will  
help. I've included some helpful links at the bottom of this mail.  
The 'changebars' link mentions latexdiff, which takes two versions of  
the same document, and marks the differences in a few colours (in  
old, in new, in both). I think this is as sophisticated as it gets.  
It is a perl script though, and calling probably requires a trip to  
the terminal.

Accepting or rejecting changes (i.e. merging revisions) is probably  
easiest using BBEdit or TextWrangler or FileMerge (part of the  
developer tools. This doesn't use formatted output though, and a  
colour print of the latexdiff output used with a pencil is probably  
the easiest way to sift through a lot of changes.

> I mentioned the changebar package, but it doesn't do all the things  
> my colleague is willing to do.

Looking back to the above: How many versions do you need to merge:  
two is readily available, any more will require manual intervention  
probably with the comments package. Striking out deleted text is a  
diff with an older version with marking deleted text as strike out  
and added text in a colour (presumably). It may require some manual  
labour though. It may actually be easier to compare just two at a time.

The ulem package provides a \sout{} command to strike out parts of a  

> Has anybody here experience with a more sophisticated solution?  
> (Versioning systems like CVS or subversion aside, which would be  
> considered overkill and too technical for the problem at hand --  
> and for me as well.)

I have written on projects under version control, both a  
collaborative article and my thesis (the latter obviously alone). I  
can wholeheartedly recommend to use it for larger projects, and if  
you write something like a thesis without it, I think you must be  
nuts (or you may go nuts if a file goes *poof*). Especially on a  
university the infrastructure is most likely in place, and I think  
you'll find a system administrator more than willing to help you  
setting it up (I did it myself, the O'Reilly website contains enough  
free material to get you started, after that you can use CVL or  
BBEdit to manage normal day-to-day routines)

Just my €0.02


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