Workshare just Works!
June 11, 2019
Workshare just Works!
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Workshare Compare
I use Workshare Compare to do a couple of things:
- I use it to show the differences between two versions of a document. For example, I will run a comparison before I send a revised document out to a client, and then send them a copy of the comparison to show them what has been changed. This is a general sort of use.
- I use it to proof my own changes to a document that I have been working on. I find that this is the most effective way to proof my revisions because it highlights the content you have changed (and need to proof).
- I use it to check if the other side has changed any content in a document. For example, some of the time the other side will send you an "execution version," but we need to check that they did not change anything material at the last minute.
- Clearly shows the changes between two documents using multiple colors of text and crossing-out and underlining.
- Has diverse options for savings and sending the comparison document (Word, PDF and its own proprietary file format).
- Has multiple options for letting you review each of the changes (in sequential order or by type of change).
- While Workshare Compare does let you compare PDFs and does feature some optical character recognition software, this feature only works with relatively straightforward PDFs (that are either already text readable or are very short). For longer scans, you need to first use Adobe Pro to convert those scans to Word documents, and then compare the converted Word documents. It would be nice if Workshare had a more powerful engine for comparing PDFs that allowed you to skip this intermediate step.
- Positive impact by increasing the productivity of the lawyer.
- Positive impact by improving our communication with clients (by allowing the clients to clearly see the changes we have made).
- Positive impact on liability management by allowing us to clearly see the changes that the other side of a transaction has made to a document.
The only other program I've used that performs a similar function is Microsoft Word, which does have a comparison feature built in. However, I find the Microsoft Word comparison harder to read and slightly less accurate. For example, I think Workshare Compare does a much better job in determining when you have moved the text to another part of the document (rather than showing it as a regular deletion in one place and in another place).
I gave Workshare Compare such a high rating because I don't think I could do my job without it. It has just become so integral to my workflow, that if I were to ever change jobs I think I would have to insist my new employer to me a license. It is fast and just works 99% of the time. It is very rare that it gives me errors, and when it does it's likely because the underlying document is corrupted, not because of any issues with Workshare Compare.
They have done a good job of now overloading Workshare Compare with extra features it doesn't need. This does a couple of things:
- It means the interface doesn't have too many menus or too many buttons to click. Everything is straightforward and easy to use.
- It keeps the software fast.
- It makes it easy on the user to decide when you do and do not need to use this software.
The software has integrated with our document management software (iManage), so you can run a comparison on two versions of the same document, or two different documents, right from within the document management software window (we run it through Outlook). Alternatively, you can open Workshare Compare first, and then find two files on our document management software server to compare. So it is all very well integrated.
Workshare Compare is well suited for professionals who review multiple versions of a document multiple times per day (or even per week). I would suggest that this is most lawyers. It is maybe less well suited if you only need to run comparisons once in a while. Word has a comparison feature built in which is so-so. I just find the Word comparisons harder to read. But if I was only running comparisons once a week on short documents then the Word version is probably fine, and Word is software that most people have anyways.