Keeping Up with Changes

So I’m finalizing the book (thank You, God!) and stumbled across a good way to verify that those final little edits didn’t turn into big boo-boos.

My standard procedure while writing is to * periodically close my document, go into the file manager, select the document, copy it, and paste it, letting the file manager auto-name the file. Then I re-open my original file and repeat from *.

Since I’m getting close, I’m also now exporting as PDF to make sure there aren’t any wacky formatting and page layout issues. It FINALLY occurred to me that if I make a PDF from each copy, then I can compare successive versions of the PDF with Adobe Acrobat’s phenomenal comparison tool. (I mean, phenomenal.)

So here’s the scenario…

My chapter “Tweaking a Chart” is nearly done. The working version of the file is called TweakingAChart.odt (I use LibreOffice Writer). I had done some fairly significant changes, so I printed it. I re-read the hardcopy, do some minor edits in the file, save, and close. I go in my file manager, select TweakingAChart.odt, copy it, and paste it. I already have eight copies of it, so my file manager will automagically bump “8” to “9” to give the newest version the name

TweakingAChart - Copy (9).odt

I open that file, MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGES TO IT, and export as PDF with the default name

TweakingAChart - Copy (9).pdf

I then go into Adobe Acrobat and choose the Compare Files tool. I open

TweakingAChart - Copy (8).pdf


TweakingAChart - Copy (9).pdf

and Acrobat very quickly highlights the handful of changes made across a twenty-six-page document.

If I see other things I want to change, I open TweakingAChart.odt, edit, save, close, copy, paste, open the new copy, export as PDF, close, then Compare Files in Acrobat with the previous copy and the new copy.

That’s WAY better than trying to remember where every little change was made so I can check them all or constantly printing the new versions to make sure nothing ELSE got changed inadvertently.

I can be a little slooooooooowwwww.

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