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Oxygen XML Editor includes a Track Changes feature that allows you to review changes that you or other authors have made and then accept or reject them. You can also manage the visualization mode of the tracked changes, add comments to changes, and mark them as being done. These actions are easily accessible from contextual menus, the toolbar, or the Review view.

The Track Changes feature is also able to keep track of changes you make to attributes in a document and the changes are presented in the Review view and Attributes view.

Types of Tracked Changes

The types of tracked changes include:
  • Inserting, deleting content (text or elements)
  • Drag and drop content (text or elements)
  • Cutting or pasting content (text or elements)
  • Inserting, deleting, and changing the structure of tables
  • Inserting and editing lists and their content
  • Inserting and deleting entities
  • Inserting and deleting element tags
  • Editing attributes
  • Performing a Split operation
  • Performing a Surround with operation
  • Changes in referenced content (for example, XInclude fragments or DITA conrefs)
Important: If you copy content in Author mode that contains tracked changes, the changes will automatically be accepted prior to the content being copied to the clipboard. This filtering is performed only if the selection is not entirely inside a tracked change.

Activating the Change Tracking Feature

To activate the Track Changes feature for the current document, use any of the following methods:
  • Click the Track Changes button on the toolbar.
  • Select Track Changes from the Review submenu of the contextual menu in the main editing area in Author mode.
  • Select Track Changes from the Edit > Review menu.

To activate the Track Changes feature globally for all documents that you open in Oxygen XML Editor, change the Initial State option to Always On in the Review preferences page.

Rendering Tracked Changes in Author Mode

When Track Changes is enabled, your modifications are highlighted using a distinctive color. The colors can be customized from the Review preferences page, along with the name of the author and the initial state of the feature when you open a document. Insertions are rendered with an underline while deletions are rendered with a strike through.

Figure: Change Tracking in Author Mode

When hovering over a change a tooltip displays information about the author and modification time.

Change Tracking Contextual Menu Actions

You can right-click any change in Author mode to access the following contextual menu actions:

Accept Change(s)
Accepts the Tracked Change located at the cursor position or all of the changes in a selection. If you select a part of a deletion or insertion change, only the selected content is accepted. If you select multiple changes, all of them are accepted. For an insertion change, it keeps the inserted text and for a deletion change, it removes the content from the document.
Reject Change(s)
Rejects the Tracked Change located at the cursor position or all of the changes in a selection. If you select a part of a deletion or insertion change, only the selected content is rejected. If you select multiple changes, all of them are rejected. For an insertion change, it removes the inserted text and for a deletion change, it preserves the original content.
Comment Change
Opens a dialog box that allows you to add a comment to an existing Tracked Change. The comment will appear in a callout and a tooltip when hovering over the change. If the action is selected on an existing commented change, the dialog box will allow you to edit the comment.

Change Tracking Toolbar Actions

By default, the toolbar includes the following actions and options for reviewing or tracking changes (similar actions are also available in the Edit > Review menu and the Review submenu of the contextual menu):

Track Changes
Enables or disables the Track Changes support for the current document.
Accept Change(s) combo box
This combo box is both a button and a drop-down menu that includes the following actions (when you select an action from the drop-down menu, that action becomes the default action for the combo box button):
  • Accept Change(s) and Move to Next - Accepts the Tracked Change located at the cursor position or all of the changes in a selection and then moves to the next change. If you select a part of a deletion or insertion change, only the selected content is accepted.
  • Accept Change(s) - Accepts the Tracked Change located at the cursor position or all of the changes in a selection.
  • Accept All Changes - Accepts all Tracked Changes in the current document.
Tip: You can assign shortcut keys for these actions to make it easier to access them.
Reject Change(s) combo box
This combo box is both a button and a drop-down menu that includes the following actions (when you select an action from the drop-down menu, that action becomes the default action for the combo box button):
  • Reject Change(s) and Move to Next - Rejects the Tracked Change located at the cursor position or all of the changes in a selection and then moves to the next change. If you select a part of a deletion or insertion change, only the selected content is rejected.
  • Reject Change(s) - Rejects the Tracked Change located at the cursor position or all of the changes in a selection.
  • Reject All Changes - Rejects all Tracked Changes in the current document.
Tip: You can assign shortcut keys for these actions to make it easier to access them.
Comment Change
Opens a dialog box that allows you to add a comment to an existing Tracked Change. The comment will appear in a callout and a tooltip when hovering over the change. If the action is selected on an existing commented change, the dialog box will allow you to edit the comment.
Track Changes Visualization Modes Drop-Down Menu
This drop-down menu includes specialized actions that allow you to switch between the following visualization modes:
  • View All Changes/Comments - This mode is active by default. When you use this mode, all tracked changes are represented in the Author mode.
  • View only Changes/Comments by - Only the tracked changes made by the author you select are presented.
  • View Final - This mode offers a preview of the document as if all tracked changes (both inserted and deleted) were accepted.
  • View Original - This mode offers a preview of the document as if all tracked changes (both inserted and deleted) were rejected. If you attempt to edit the document in this mode, the view mode will switch to View All Changes/Comments.
Note: If you use View Final mode and View Original mode, callouts are not displayed for comments or changes. To display callouts, use the View All Changes/Comments mode.
Highlight
Enables or disables the Highlight tool. Use the Highlight drop-down menu to select a new color.
Add Comment
Inserts a comment at the cursor position. The comment appears in a callout box and a tooltip (when hovering over the change).
Show/Edit Comment
Opens a dialog box that displays the discussion thread and allows the current user to edit comments that do not have replies. If you are not the author who inserted the original comment, the dialog box just displays the comment without the possibility of editing it.
Remove Comment
Removes a selected comment. If you remove a comment that contains replies, all of the replies will also be removed.
Manage Reviews
Opens the Review view.

Tracked Change Callouts

You can also choose to display insertion and deletion changes in callouts in Author mode. By default, tracked changes are not displayed in callouts, but you can change this behavior by selecting the Track Changes Deletions and Track Changes Insertions options in the Callouts preferences page. You can also choose to display the actual content of the deletion or insertion.

By displaying the changes in callouts, you then have access to even more actions, such as the ability to reply or mark them as being done. For more information, see Author Callouts.

Tracked Changes in the Review View

The Review view is also useful for managing tracked changes and comments. In this view, the edits are presented in a compact form, in the order they appear in the document and each edit is marked with a type-specific icon. You can use this view to quickly navigate through changes, accept or reject them, or to add and manage comments for the changes. You can also search for specific changes and it includes some filtering options (for example, you can filter it to only show certain types of changes or to only show changes for a particular author).

For more information, see Review View.

Tracked Changes XML Source Code

The changes are stored in the document source code as processing instructions and they do not interfere with validations or transformations. For each change, the author name and the modification time are preserved.

Example - Insertion Change: The following processing instruction is an example of how an insertion change is stored in a document:

<?oxy_insert_start author="John Doe" timestamp="20090408T164459+0300"?>all<?oxy_insert_end?>

Example - Deletion Change: The following processing instruction is an example of how a deletion change is stored in a document:

<?oxy_delete author="John Doe" timestamp="20090508T164459+0300" content="belong"?>

For more information about the Track Changes support, watch our video demonstration: