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In the new version of Google Docs is it possible to view/compare revision differences as you used to be able to do to see the changes highlighted.

I know you can view previous versions but what I want is to see the individual changes highlighted by the user that made them.

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2 Answers 2

  1. Open the document in Google Docs
  2. Click the [File] menu item
  3. Click the [See revision history] option
  4. Check the box for the newest revision you want to compare.
  5. Scroll down the list and check the box for the oldest revision you want to compare.
  6. Click the [Compare checked] button to see the changes between the old and new revision entries you checked.

Added content will be block highlighted. Deleted content will have a line through it. Both will be in the color of the editor that made the changes.

Update: As discovered by DEFusion, old documents, which I had used to write the above process, are unaffected by the new "feature" (or deletion of a feature, apparently). I failed to actually create a new document to test the process. Indeed, new documents created in Google Docs do not provide a diff function. Only browsing between newer and older versions is currently possible.

So, unfortunately, it looks like for now no diff-ing is possible.

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I don't see any check boxes, nor a [Compare checked] button. –  ptomato Aug 18 '10 at 9:24
    
I literally opened docs.google.com and walked through a document when I wrote those. Can you please provide your operating system, browser and browser version so I can test against it? Also, can you provide a screenshot of what you see when you get to step 4? (Shift+[Print Screen} button on keyboard, paste to Paint or Seashore, save, then insert into the original question by clicking "edit" and using the image button) –  Matt Aug 18 '10 at 16:36
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This is how the old Google Docs handled revisions, the new Google Docs (ensure you're looking at a document created with the new Google Docs) simply has this menu when entering "See revision history": << Back to Editing << Older Newer >> [Drop down to pick revision to view] Revert to this one –  DEfusion Aug 20 '10 at 13:56
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Hmm, apparently the comment notification system on SE is temperamental too -- none of this discussion lit up the little envelope next to my name, so I didn't see it. Thanks for the clarification, I removed my downvote. –  ptomato Aug 25 '10 at 9:30
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Right, I guess the feature to compare two specific revisions is gone. Each revision can be compared with the previous, though, and this gives a hack for comparing an older revision with the current one: restore it, then restore the current one again, so that the two ones you want to compare are the top two revisions. –  ShreevatsaR Jun 19 '13 at 8:37
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You can use https://github.com/larsks/gitdriver to create a git repository mirroring a google doc. In the repository is only one file stored and there is a commit for each Google Drive revision. Then, you can use commands like git log of git diff or graphical tools for showing the diff as described here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/255202/how-do-i-view-git-diff-output-with-a-visual-diff-program.

It is a shame that people must invent such tools for Google's inability to accomodate user's workflow.

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