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Is anyone aware of a plugin for MS Word that allows me to keep my documents in a git repository (gitlab compatibility would be even better)? I'm aware that git diffs won't be very meaningful, merges are impractical, etc. with binary file formats; I'm not concerned with any of that. I'd just like to be able to keep a repository of multiple versions in a streamlined manner, without having to manually manage multiple files.

"Track Changes" within Word seems to be intended for collaboration or editing with multiple authors (though of course it doesn't HAVE to be used like that), and at any rate the advantage of using git (especially a git service like gitlab) is that it integrates versioning and backups, which I'd still have to take care of some other way if I used Track Changes.

I can do git manually (via command-line tools) if necessary, but an interface from within Word would be nice.

  • You can just use git on its own. No plugging are necessary. But this might be helpful. simuldocs.com/blog/ben-morris/…. I have no experience, but Google find it. Maybe it will help? – Kirk Nov 3 '18 at 23:20
  • Yes, I'm aware. As I said in the question: > I can do git manually (via command-line tools) if necessary, but an interface from within Word would be nice. – Kurt Weber Nov 3 '18 at 23:28
  • If you don't find what you're looking for, you may be able to automate parts of the process - to make if feel integrated - using a desktop automation tool. You can have scripts which perform multi-step operations triggered by a hotkey. Tools are available for all major operating systems. A few are AutoHotKey for Windows, AutoKey for Linux, and Automator for Mac. – Joe Nov 6 '18 at 18:34
  • Do you work with windows or any linux based (mac, ubuntu) operating systems? – rptwsthi Nov 13 '18 at 12:01
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I would recommend to just use any of the Git GUI clients rather than a plugin for Word.

I'd recommend GitKraken. A note, I do use GIT for software development with tools that do support git natively (VS Code) and I still prefer to use GitKraken for handling commits, branches and push requests as it is a dedicated product focused on doing a single thing very well.

I'm not sure what your intent for using GIT is but, as you note, you'll lose most of the useful features that come from using a distributed source control system and I honestly think there are way better tools for this, including some from Microsoft.

  1. Use the version history option from Microsoft One Drive. This comes as a given with every Office 365 subscription and it allows you to keep using word.
  2. Consider switching to Scrivener. It's a dedicated tool oriented towards writing with a price point that makes it a silly buy and it does have a revision control that is specifically tailored to the writing and editing process and is broken down into two parts:
    • You can take a snapshot of your document state at any point and later on come back or compare to that point in time (that would be the equivalente of check-in).
    • You can also go into revision mode which will track in a different colour the changes you make while on that mode (although I must admit I find this one less useful)
  3. Consider switching to Ulysses. I actually love version history on Ulysses, you just take a document and hit Version History and it will allow you to go back on all snapshots taken automatically, neatly organised by date and time and compare that to the current document.

Finally, if you don't want any of those options I'd also suggest using Markdown with VSCode and GIT. In that environment you'll get, for free, all the good options integrated inside VS Code and the ability to export to Word at a later time.

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