The track changes feature in MS Word works very well. However, when you’ve got a large group of people making and suggesting edits to a document, it can get messy. There’s always that one person who forgets to turn on the track changes feature when he’s doing his editing, or emails back the wrong version and messes up the work flow.
TextFlow from Nordic River has introduced a Web-based version of their collaboration tool, which improves on the original version. Where tracking a lot of changes and comments from multiple users can get sticky in Word, TextFlow’s layout shows conflicting changes in columns, so you can easily compare them and then decide which to accept.
The Web-based platform allows different users to work on a document without needing to download any software, so you can collaborate with anyone, like a client, who is not a current TextFlow user. Finalized documents can be exported to .doc, .pdf, or web file formats. It also allows multiple users to work on the same document at the same time, so you know that you are seeing the most current version, rather than having to wait for another user to finish working.
There is a free personal version and the professional version costs $99 per user per year.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com