Extract tracked changes and comments from Word – Advanced
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.
DocTools ExtractChanges Pro provides extremely powerful and unique capabilities such as:
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 Office 365 on PC / Windows.
The add-in works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office.
Read on to learn how DocTools ExtractChanges Pro can help you.
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.
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!
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.
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
Pricing and general information
October 8, 2019
Supported Word versions:
Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, Word for Office 365 on PC / Windows
Licensing per computer:
Free trial – try before you buy:
Applies to licenses purchased on a single order
No recurring payments
Minor updates within 12 months for free
Save 30% on upgrade licenses for later full number versions and upgrade licenses from any earlier version to newest version
Number of licenses
Per license price in Euro*
100 or more licenses
* Prices do not include applicable taxes
* One-time payment – no recurring payments
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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:
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:
You will find more details about the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro features below.
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.
More details about the DocTools ExtractChanges Pro features
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. See the Pricing and general information above for information about the current version number.
About the functionality of DocTools ExtractChanges Pro
You have access to the functionality of the add-in via the DocTools ExtractChanges tab:
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
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 insertions, deletions 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:
- Entire document
- Only selected content in main text story
- 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:
- Index number.
- Page number.
- Paragraph Index number of the extracted paragraph in the source document.
- Heading data for easy reference, including up to 4 levels of headings and subheadings.
- The paragraph showing insertions and deletions as colored text – colors can be customized.
- Column for custom use. Any comments in the extracted paragraph will be inserted in this column. The column heading can be changed as desired.
- Column for custom use. The heading can be changed as desired.
- Column showing the authors(s) who made the changes/comments in question. This column can be automatically left out.
- 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.
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
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.
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).
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 is working on improvements.
More functionality that helps you manage the tracked changes and comments
The look of the icons in the DocTools ExtractChanges tab varies depending on your version of Word and the selected Office Theme.
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.
Batch Extract Changes
Lets you – in one operation – extract changes from all documents in a folder you select (excl. subfolders).
Batch Compare Documents
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.
Deletes the “Author(s)” and “Date(s)” columns from the extract document, if found, and adjusts the widths of the remaining columns.
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.
Lets you find a specific paragraph in a source document by its index number
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.
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.
View Side by Side
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.
Lets you customize several options. See the illustration below.
About customization options – define your personal settings
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.
The Extract Changes 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 commands Compare Two Documents, Batch Extract Changes and Batch Compare Documents do not open this dialog box but automatically use the current default settings in the dialog box.
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.
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 Batch Compare Documents dialog box
When you click Batch Compare Documents, you can select the original document to which you want to compare other documents, 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.
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.