First Microsystems, then Workshare and now DocsCorp have their say on the merits of Microsoft Word's native Compare redlining facility (and we've still got Litéra to come). Here's DocsCorp's thoughts…

Law firms not going native just yet
There’s an old saying that there’s a right tool for every job. This is especially true when it comes to document comparison – a must have technology for any law firm. Specialist document comparison experience and support are very important in selecting your solution. With the release of Microsoft Office 2010, law firms have naturally looked to evaluate native Microsoft Word comparison in the hope that it meets their comparison needs but many are knocking it out of contention early in their evaluations.

DocsCorp has published a report entitled See the Difference: compareDocs v MS Word Compare which looks at the results of both products under a number of typical comparison scenarios. The report concludes that MS Word will struggle to meet the demanding needs of law firms in 10 areas. Most critically, and both Workshare and Microsystems acknowledge this in their articles as well, MS Word does not always accurately reflect changes in Tables, Headers/Footers, Footnotes and Table of Contents. The report is available upon request at info@docscorp.com

Word-to-Word comparison is only part of the story though. Law firms require workflow integration with their DMS and the ability to work with many different document formats: PDF to PDF, Word to PDF, image document to image document. DocsCorp was the first to provide law firms with anything-to-anything comparison.

While MS Word native comparison has improved, it falls short of what many law firms require. It is not the complete document comparison solution. Many firms will therefore look to the specialist comparison providers for the best results and best service.