Extract tracked changes and comments from Word – Advanced

Version 6.0 with new features – batch compare documents by pairs, change author & date, and more...

Learn how the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro Word add-in can help you

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro lets you extract insertions, deletions and comments from any Word document, in full context and including headings and subheadings.

The add-in reduces hours of work to seconds or a few minutes and makes the work with blacklining / redlining easier than ever.

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro is the perfect time-saving tool for anyone who is editing large contracts, specifications and similar documents and for anyone who participates in the review process of such documents. Perfect for business, government, law, sales, finance, etc.

The tools in the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro provides extremely powerful and unique capabilities such as:

  • Extracts insertions, deletions and comments – in full context – to a new document, including extra metadata such as page number, paragraph number, author and revision date
  • Headings and subheadings are detected and extracted with the changes – even in poorly formatted Word documents
  • You can extract changes and comments either from the entire document or from a selected part of the main text as you wish – you can even include revisions in headers, footers, footnotes and endnotes
  • You can compare two versions of a document and extract the differences in one operation
  • You can batch extract changes and comments from all documents in a folder you select
  • When batch extracting, you can collect all extract documents in one document in addition to the individual extract documents  NEW in version 6.0
  • You can batch compare a specific document with all documents in a selected folder in one operation
  • You can batch compare pairs of documents in one operation, based on a file  NEW in version 6.0
  • You can change author names and remove or replace date stamps in tracked changes and comments  NEW in version 6.0
  • You can customize several options in relation to the extract and the resulting document
  • And much more…

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro can help you make the review of even very large documents with countless revisions and comments unbelievable efficient.

The add-in works with Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, Word for Microsoft 365 on PC / Windows.
The add-in works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Word.

Read on to learn how DocTools ExtractChanges Pro can help you.

Single user license only EUR 297 – volume discount – see Pricing details below.

What users say about DocTools ExtractChanges Pro

I have literally compacted a full day’s work into about 1 minute and at the push of a button in DocTools ExtractChanges Pro.

Tony Johnson

Financial Analyst

Wow, you are amazing and have fantastic customer service. Thank you!

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro is such a great tool. I am appreciative you developed something so efficient! 

Kelly Lyles


DocTools ExtractChanges Pro is a must have tool for any front end transactional lawyer whose day-to-day life is ruled by track changes, blacklines and comments from their clients and counterparties.


The program provides a systematic and high quality review of any document to create a standardized template at the click of one button – leaving a fee earner to push aside document compilation to focus on the key issues to be negotiated and formulate strategies to their clients.

Adam

Construction Lawyer

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro is a great tool and an enormous timesaver.

Barry R. Stanford

Vice President, Safety and Security, AEG Worldwide

This Microsoft Word plugin, DocTools ExtractChanges Pro, is a lifesaver for anyone who is working with contracts based on a template. It will automatically do a batch-comparison of your final word documents (tip: we 'Star' the final documents in google drive, so we can quickly list them and download and extract these documents into a folder).


On top of that, not only do you get a folder with the comparison results, the tool will give you a change report, only listing the changes, which is great if you are analyzing the typical changes to your template and if you are managing your contracts and need to have overview. It works from within your Microsoft Word, so the learning curve is almost non-existent. Finally, it is the only solution in the market that I know of that produces this result (other than expensive contract review software solutions). Highly recommended!

Pieter van der Hoeven

Co-founder & CEO, Clocktimizer

The use of the DocTools add-ins have tremendously boosted my productivity.

As part of my work in the analysis of clinical trials data, I have to draft and review numerous Word documents on a daily basis.


DocTools ExtractChanges Pro is a huge time-saver when comparing two or more versions of a document containing a number of comments and added and deleted text as well as when changing the name of an author and the date in comments.

Carlos Blanco Villa

CEO, BIOMETRICA SRL, Belgium

Pricing and general information

Version number:

6.0 – see Changelog for info about versions and changes

Release date:

October 6, 2020

Supported Word versions:

Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, Word for Microsoft 365 on PC / Windows

Licensing per computer:

One license per computer is required (see License Terms)

Free trial – try before you buy:

7 days

Volume discount:

Applies to licenses purchased on a single order

One-time payment:

No recurring payments

Updates:

Minor updates within 12 months for free

Find out whether you are qualified for a free update

Save 30% on upgrade licenses for later full number versions and upgrade licenses from any earlier version to newest version

Price list – price per license

* Prices do not include applicable taxes
* One-time payment – no recurring payments
* Select from many currencies on the order page
* Download link delivered instantly via email

UPGRADE to newest version from any earlier version and save 30%
The UPGRADE version requires that you have purchased license(s) for an earlier version. To start the secure order process of UPGRADE license(s), click the UPGRADE button. The price will automatically be reduced by 30% of the normal prices listed above.

Click the Buy Now button to start the secure order process. All orders are processed securely by MyCommerce Share-It and are delivered online instantly. You can select from a large number of currencies on the order page. The price in other currencies than EUR vary based on the currency exchange rate.

Introduction to DocTools ExtractChanges Pro features

Track changes and comments are great features to use in the editing process of Word documents. In large documents and/or documents with many changes and comments, it can be impractical to work with the entire document during the review of all the insertions, deletions and comments. DocTools ExtractChanges Pro lets you quickly and easily extract insertions, deletions and comments from Word documents. The extracted data, incl. additional metadata, will be listed in a table for easy overview. The changes and comments are not just extracted:

  • Insertions, deletions and comments are shown in the extract document
  • Extracts insertions, deletions and comments both from the main text of the document and from headers, footers, footnotes and endnotes
  • You can extract changes and comments either from the entire document or from a selected part of the main text as you wish
  • Headings and subheadings are detected and extracted with the changes – even in poorly formatted Word documents
  • You can define whether rows with paragraphs found below the same set of headings are combined or kept as separate rows 
  • You can compare two versions of a document and extract the differences in one operation
  • You can batch extract changes from all documents in a selected folder in one operation
  • When batch extracting, you can collect all extract documents in one document in addition to the individual extract documents  NEW in version 6.0
  • You can batch compare a specific document with all documents in a selected folder in one operation
  • You can batch compare pairs of documents in one operation, based on a file  NEW in version 6.0
  • Special commands help you quickly create a file list to use for batch compare by pairs and other purposes  NEW in version 6.0
  • You can find a specific paragraph in the source document directly from the extract document with a single click of a button
  • You can change the author name in all tracked changes and comments or only in those made by a specific author  NEW in version 6.0
  • You can remove the date or change the date in the date stamps in all tracked changes and comments  NEW in version 6.0
  • You can customize several options in relation to the extract and the resulting document
  • Index numbers and color shading are added to all comments to make it easy to see where each comment belongs 
  • Supported file formats are doc, dot, docx, docm, dotx, dotm, rtf and xml
  • Works with Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, Word for Microsoft 365 on PC

The user interface of DocTools ExtractChanges Pro is in English but the add-in can be used with any language version of Word.

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro is easy to use. The functionality of DocTools ExtractChanges Pro can be accessed from a tab, DocTools ExtractChanges, that is added to the Ribbon:

The DocTools ExtractChanges tab in the Ribbon

You will find more details about the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro features below.

See also Overview of differences – DocTools ExtractChanges Pro and DocTools ExtractData.

How to get DocTools ExtractChanges Pro for Word 2007

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro version 5.0 and later versions are not compatible with Word 2007. However, version 4.0 works with Word 2007. If you are using Word 2007, you can purchase license(s) to version 5.0. You can then contact Lene Fredborg and ask for a 4.0 version that you can install and use instead. In the contact form, make sure to include the order number from your purchase and the name and email used during the order process. Note that version 4.0 does not include the improvements and new features added in version 5.0 and later.

The story behind the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro add-in

On my website, thedoctools.com, I have provided a free macro for exporting / extracting tracked changes for years. The macro has been downloaded by thousands of Word users over the years. The free add-in, DocTools ExtractData, includes an improved version of the free macro. The free versions extract changes one by one without context whereas DocTools ExtractChanges Pro includes advanced functionality that extracts changes in full context and including heading and subheading information plus much more.

I developed the first version of DocTools ExtractChanges Pro in 2012 to fulfill the wishes of clients. The add-in has been in use by large companies since then. Version 3.7 was the first version available from this website. It was published in 2016 and I have made a number of updates with new features since then. See the Pricing and general information above for information about the current version number.

The built-in Track Changes feature in Word is powerful and is used a lot. I have written a comprehensive article about how the built-in track changes feature works. DocTools ExtractChanges Pro provides a lot of extra features that can dramatically speed up your work in the editing and reviewing process of Word documents.

More details about the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro features

You have access to the functionality of the add-in via the DocTools ExtractChanges tab:

Extract tracked changes and comments from Word - blacklining / redlining - the DocTools ExtractChanges tab
The Batch Compare Documents menu

The Batch Compare Documents menu includes commands for different types of batch compare operations. In addition, the menu includes commands that can help you create file lists.

  • Right-click any command on the DocTools ExtractChanges tab and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) if you want easy access to the command no matter which tab in the Ribbon is selected. You can also select whether to show the QAT above or below the Ribbon.

All you need to do to start the extract of changes from a Word document is to click the Extract Changes icon. 

Your current settings for viewing tracked changes are without importance for the extract process. The tracked changes may be shown or hidden. DocTools ExtractChanges Pro will find the changes no matter the settings.

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro leaves the original document unchanged during the process.

Help and tips are built into the add-in

If you hover the mouse over a command, you will see a short description of the command. When you select a command that opens a dialog box, the dialog box will show information about what to do. In addition, the add-in comes with a User's Guide that provides tips about how you can handle special issues.


About the Extract Changes command

Icon - Extract Changes

The Extract Changes command will extract changes and comments from the active Word document. The tracked changes and metadata will be filled into a 9-column table in a new document. Only insertionsdeletions and comments will be extracted. Any other type of change will be ignored.

In the dialog box that opens when you select Extract Changes, you can select from different types of extract:

  1. Entire document
  2. Only selected content in main text story
  3. Only headers and footers

The Extract Changes dialog box is shown at the bottom of this page.

For each paragraph that contains one or more insertions, deletions or comments, the table will show:

  1. Index number.
  2. Page number.
  3. Paragraph Index number of the extracted paragraph in the source document.
  4. Heading data for easy reference, including up to 4 levels of headings and subheadings.
  5. The paragraph showing insertions and deletions as colored text – colors can be customized.
  6. Column for custom use. Any comments in the extracted paragraph will be inserted in this column. The column heading can be changed as desired.
  7. Column for custom use. The heading can be changed as desired.
  8. Column showing the authors(s) who made the changes/comments in question. This column can be automatically left out.
  9. Date(s) of changes/comments. This column can be automatically left out.

The footer of the extract document will include information about:

  • The full name of the source document
  • Name of user and date for extraction
  • Statistics information about insertions and deletions. This information may be useful for e.g. translators.
    Example:
    Statistics: 546 insertions (25365 characters), 493 deletions (8544 characters)
  • Additional information is added if changes are not extracted from the entire document, telling precisely which part of the document was handled

Example of an extract result

Extract tracked changes and comments from Word - example of extract result

The scope of each comment, i.e. the text that the comment refers to, will be marked by color shading in column 5 and an index number in superscript will be added just after the scope. The comment text in column 6 will start with [Comment #] where # is the same number as added after the scope. This makes it easy for you to find out where comments belong.


About the extracted heading data – which types of headings and subheadings will be detected?

A paragraph will only be considered a possible heading or subheading if:

  • the paragraph starts with some kind of numbering, either automatic or manually typed

AND / OR

  • the paragraph is formatted with one of the built-in styles Heading 1-4 no matter whether it is numbered or not

In order for a paragraph to be considered a heading, DocTools ExtractChanges Pro will check for a number of other criteria in addition to the numbering. Otherwise, there would be a risk of interpreting many ordinary body text paragraphs as headings. For example, the text will be checked for relevant combinations of length, bold underlined, uppercase, centered, etc.

In addition to the hundreds of variants of numbering syntax that will automatically be searched for, you can specify custom heading numbering to be searched for.

You can include fewer heading levels than 4 in the extract document if you want – NEW in version 5.0

The maximum number of heading levels that will be extracted is 4, i.e. levels 1-4. However, there may be situations where you want to leave out one or more levels in the extract document. For example, this may be the case in documents where built-in heading styles have been used for legal clauses or other types of content that are to be regarded as body text rather than headings/subheadings. An option in the Extract Changes dialog box lets you define how many heading levels to include, from 1 to 4.

Heading levels 1-4 shown in extract document - example
Heading levels 1-4 shown in extract document - example

Example 1: Part of extract document. 4 levels of headings and subheadings have been extracted (marked by green).

Example 2: Same part of extract document as in Example 1. Only 1 heading level has been included in the extract in this case (marked by green).



Extract tracked changes and comments from Word - a progress bar is shown during the extract process

Progress bar

While data is examined and changes extracted, a progress bar will be shown on the screen. The information will be updated continuously so you can follow the progress. You will also see extract data as it is being added to the extract document. The longer documents and the more changes, the longer time is needed for the process to finish. Often, the process will take less than 1 minute.


Extracting tracked changes and comments from large documents with many insertions, deletions and comments

DocTools ExtractChanges Pro can handle large documents with many tracked changes and comments. The time it takes to extract changes and comments depend on the number of paragraphs and the number of tracked changes and comments. Large documents with huge amounts of insertions, deletions and comments (e.g. +1000 changes and +300 comments) may, for example, take 10 minutes or more to process. Instead of extracting changes from the entire document in one operation in such cases, you may save time by using the Only selected content in main text story option and split the extraction into two or more parts. You can combine the tables from such extracts in a single document later if you wish.

Note that Word 2016 and newer versions of Word are currently significantly slower than earlier versions of Word when it comes to execution of operations like extracting the changes. Microsoft is aware of the problem and has been working on improvements. Unfortunately, it is not likely that the performance will reach the performance of earlier versions of Word.


Overview of all the commands in DocTools ExtractChanges Pro

The look of the icons in the DocTools ExtractChanges tab varies depending on your version of Word and the selected Office Theme.

The Extract Changes command is described above. The list below includes a short description of all the other commands in the DocTools ExtractChanges Ribbon tab.

Command name

Description

Extract Changes

Lets you extract tracked changes from the active document to a new document.
See the description above.

See the Extract Changes dialog box.

Compare Two Documents

Lets you perform a compare of two versions of a document and extract the differences to a new document in one operation.

See the Compare Two Documents dialog box.

Batch Extract Changes

Lets you – in one operation – extract changes from all documents in a folder you select (excl. subfolders).

The result is the same as running the Extract Changes command on the documents one by one. The extract documents will automatically be saved in the folder you specify.

See the Batch Extract Changes dialog box.

In Batch Compare Documents menu

Batch Compare Documents – Original Against All Documents in Selected Source Folder

Lets you – in one operation – compare a specific document with each document in a folder you select. The result is the same as running the Compare Two Documents command on the document pairs one by one.

You can, for example, use this command to quickly compare multiple documents that were based on the same document with the original document.

See the Batch Compare Documents – Original Against All dialog box.

In Batch Compare Documents menu

Create File List for Batch Compare Documents by Pairs

Creates a new Word document with a 3-column table, ready for you to fill in with the full file names of the documents that are to be compared by pairs.

In Batch Compare Documents menu

Create List of All Word Files in Selected Folder

Creates a new document with a list of all Word documents in the folder you select. Files in .rft and .xml format will also be included, if any. You can select whether to list file names with or without the path. You can also select whether to include files in subfolders in the selected folder.

A heading with the folder path will be inserted above the list of files in that folder. You can select to have folder path(s) inserted as hyperlink(s) so you can quickly open File Explorer with a specific folder selected.

You can, for example, use this command to retrieve the file names to use when preparing a file list for batch comparing documents by pairs.

See the Create List of All Word Files in Selected Folder dialog box.

In Batch Compare Documents menu

Batch Compare Documents by Pairs Based on File List

Lets you – in one operation – compare pairs of Word documents and create an extract document for each pair.

In order to use this command, you must first create a file list, i.e. a Word document with the full file names of the documents to be compared. That document will be used as the basis for the compare and extract.

The result is the same as running the Compare Two Documents command on the document pairs one by one.

You can use this command to quickly compare two versions of multiple pairs of documents.

See the Batch Compare Documents by Pairs Based on File List dialog box.

Delete Columns

Deletes the “Author(s)” and “Date(s)” columns from the extract document, if found, and adjusts the widths of the remaining columns.

Change Path

The active document must be an extract document. Lets you point out the document that was used as the source document when you created the extract document. You can use this command if the source document has been moved and/or renamed.

Find Paragraph

Lets you find a specific paragraph in a source document by its index number (example: paragraph number 389). You can use the command for different purposes:

If the active document is an extract document, first click anywhere in the row that includes the extracted paragraph(s) you want to find in the source document. The command will then automatically open/activate the source document and select the paragraph based on the index number found in column 3 in the extract document.

If the active document is a source document, the command lets you specify the index number of the paragraph you want to find. This is useful, for example, if a paragraph causes problems during the extract process due to poor formatting or other reasons. The progress bar dialog box will show the number of the paragraph where the process hangs. You can then stop the process and use Find Paragraph to go directly to that paragraph in order to fix the formatting problem.

Change Author & Date

Lets you change author names and remove or change dates in existing tracked changes and comments.
The original document remains unchanged. The command creates a copy of the document and changes the author name(s) and/or dates in the copy. The document copy will automatically be saved in the same folder as the original document.

You can select whether to change author names in all changes and comments or only in changes and comments added by a specific author.

You can, for example, use this command to add your company name as the author and remove the date stamp in all tracked changes and comments before sending a document to external people. You can also use the command to correct an author name in case an incorrect name was set as the author's user name at the time when he/she added tracked changes or comments.

Example of comment and tracked change showing author name and date
The same comment and tracked change after having used Change Author & Date to change the author to the company name and removing the date

See the examples above. Left: Example of comment and tracked change showing author name and date. Right: Result after having used Change Author & Date to change the author to the company name and removing the date.

See the Change Author & Date dialog box.

View Extract/Source Side by Side

The active document must be an extract document. The command arranges the extract document and the related source document side by side. The command will automatically open the source document if not already open.

This makes it easy, for example, to use the Find Paragraph command in the extract document to select a specific paragraph in the source document if you need to check or edit that paragraph while you can still see the paragraph in the extract document.

View Side by Side
Synchronous Scrolling
Reset Window Position

Built-in Word commands – also found on the View tab of the Ribbon.
Added to give you easy access to the tools when viewing documents side by side.

Define Settings

Lets you customize several options. See the illustration below.

See the Define Settings dialog box.

Help

Lets you open a User's Guide in PDF format with detailed help and tips on how the use DocTools ExtractChanges Pro. In addition, you can check for updates and info on wordaddins.com and find Word Tips on thedoctools.com.

About

Shows info about DocTools ExtractChanges Pro (version number, rights, etc.).


About customization options – define your personal settings

Extract tracked changes and comments from Word - Define Personal Settings dialog box

You can customize several options related to the extract documents via the Define Settings command.

For example, the header of an extract document contains a table with 6 cells organized in 3 columns. For each of the cells, you can specify the text to be used by default in your extract documents. For each cell you can select from 3 options:

  • Use default
  • Leave cell empty
  • Use custom text

You can also define main table settings. For example, you can define whether or not to keep one row per extracted paragraph or to combine all rows for extracted paragraphs found under the same set of main heading/subheadings.


Other main dialog boxes

Dialog box – Extract Changes and Comments to New Document

Extract tracked changes and comments from Word - dialog box

When you click Extract Changes, you can select from different extract types and specify more customization options to be used for the current extract and/or for future extracts.

Note that the batch extract and batch compare commands do not open this dialog box but automatically use the current default settings in the dialog box.


Dialog box – Compare Two Documents – Extract Differences to New Document

Extract tracked changes and comments from Word - the Compare Two Documents dialog box

When you click Compare Two Documents, you can select the document versions to compare either from a list of recent documents or by browsing.

The author name next to the listed changes will be set to the name specified in File > Options > General tab in Word.


Dialog box – Batch Extract Changes – All Documents in Folder

Extract tracked changes and comments from Word - the Batch Extract Changes dialog box

When you click Batch Extract Changes, you can select the folder that contains the source documents to handle and the folder in which to save the extract documents. Information will be shown about the number of documents to handle in the source folder you selected.

The Collect all extract documents in addition to the individual extract documents is NEW in version 6.0.


Dialog box – Batch Compare Documents – Original Against All Documents in Selected Source Folder

The Batch Compare Documents – Original Against All Documents in Selected Source Folder dialog box

When you click Batch Compare Documents menu > Batch Compare Documents – Original Against All Documents in Selected Source Folder, you can select the original document to which you want to compare other documents. You can also select the folder that contains the revised versions of the original document and the folder in which to save the compare result documents and extract documents. Information will be shown about the number of documents to handle in the source folder you selected.


Dialog box – Create List of All Word Files in Selected Folder

The Create List of All Word Files in Selected Folder dialog box

When you click Batch Compare Documents menu > Create List of All Word Files in Selected Folder, you can select the desired folder. In addition, you can select whether to include the file path or only the file names for all files and whether to include files in subfolders. Also, you can select to have the folder path(s) inserted as hyperlinks so you can quickly open a folder in File Explorer directly from the list that is generated.

NEW in version 6.0


Dialog box – Batch Compare Documents by Pairs Based on File List

The Batch Compare Documents by Pairs Based on File List dialog box

Before using this command, you must make a file list ready. When you click Batch Compare Documents menu > Batch Compare Documents by Pairs Based on File List, you can select the desired file list and where to save the compare and extract documents. 

NEW in version 6.0


Dialog box – Change Author & Date in Tracked Changes and comments

When you click Change Author & Date, you can select how to change author name(s) and or date stamps of tracked changes and comments.

The original document remains unchanged. The command creates a copy of the document and changes the author name(s) and/or dates in the copy.

See examples of results.

NEW in version 6.0



What are the differences between DocTools ExtractChanges Pro and DocTools ExtractData?

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As described and illustrated above, the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro add-in lets you extract insertions, deletions and comments from any Word document by the click of a button, thereby making the work with blacklining / redlining easier than ever. See also all the other DocTools productivity tools for Microsoft Word.

NEW version – DocTools CommentManager 2.2 – Click Here