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I believe this to be a very common problem faced by many of us org-mode users. I haven't been able to find a duplicate to my question, though, so I am posting it here.

How do you share your org-mode files with collaborators/supervisors who only use Microsoft Word, and how do you merge their changes back into your org-mode file? Is there a package that takes care of these things?

Ideally I would want to merge the "tracked" changes from a .docx file directly into my org-document, and then use the magit interface to slowly stage the changes I consider relevant.

In any case, all pointers and tips that can make the org/word workflow less of a pain are welcome. Dropping Org-mode in favor of MS Word is by all means not acceptable.

  • I don't think there's ever an easy way to do such things with two drastically different file formats. I face this problem as well with Org and .tex files. Usually after finishing the first draft in Org and producing a .tex file I just make all my further changes on the .tex file. That makes things much easier. – xji Aug 27 '17 at 14:02
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I think this might work in theory. I have not done it in practice.

Use pandoc to convert the co-author DOC file to Org, with the --accept-all option.

Pandoc adds cruft to the Org format, so you may need to accept all those changes too, and just have them as part of your document. Or drop them using magit as you propose.

You may be able to further complicate & simplify the process with the following setup.

  1. Org -> DOC w/ Pandoc for co-authors to edit.
  2. Org -> DOC -> Org w/ Pandoc (no changes to DOC file).
  3. Co-author-edits (DOC) -> Org w/ Pandoc and --accept-all.

Step (3) gives you the changes you want, plus the Pandoc cruft. Step 2 gives you just the Pandoc cruft. Use a 3-way diff program (ediff?) to extract only the co-author changes, not the Pandoc changes.

Personally, I manually integrate changes. It means I read them carefully, consider them, and edit them as I incorporate them. Even when working only in DOC format (LibreOffice), I rarely just click "accept change" unless it is a minor typo change.

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