Sunday, January 10, 2010

Comparing (Open)Office documents versions using TortoiseSVN !

Call me a noob for not knowing this already, but I just discovered a ‘prittttty’ useful trick for comparing Office (/ OpenOffice) documents versions. (Windows boxes only sorry)
Cool thing is that Word and Excel 2007 support documents comparisons / reviewing.
And called with the right arguments, reviewing can be automated using external tools.

See, as I’ve got my technical documents versioned by SVN along with my code files, I discovered TortoiseSVN is capable of launching different Diff/Merge tools based on the file extension.
You will only need to provide it with some script files that are not currently packaged with the Tortoise setup.

diff-scripts on github

Simply put them into the Diff-Scripts folder of your tortoise setup

“C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\Diff-Scripts\”

Then you can right-click on your .docx / .xlsx / .ppt / .od* / .sxw document that are under revisioning control and needs to be reviewed/committed and simply click ‘Diff’ in the TortoiseSVN right-click menu.

It will open the corresponding software in review mode.

Have a look at what it looks like in Word :

neat !