Identify revised text with change bars

About change bars

A change bar is a vertical line that visually identifies new or revised text. You can have change bars appear automatically whenever you insert, change, or delete text.

Change bars identify new or revised text.

Sometimes you want to flag only important changes to your document rather than flag every change. If you’re sending out the second revision of a document for review, you probably want reviewers to focus on substantive changes. In these situations, you can select specific text to mark with change bars rather than add the change bars automatically.

In structured documents, adding change bars manually to particular text is useful for marking revisions or for identifying changes in structure, attributes, or formatting. Perhaps your custom application has an element defined for this purpose. The Change Bar feature does not track changes that affect only structure, attributes, or formatting.

Sometimes you want to remove the change bars from text later. For example, between drafts of a manual, you want to remove the old change bars before adding new ones.

You can insert change bars in the newer of two versions of a document by comparing the versions.

Note: Sometimes you add change bars to an entire paragraph of text and then update the paragraph format, for example, by importing formats from another document. Don’t remove format overrides during the update if you want to retain the change bars. Adding change bars to an entire paragraph alters the paragraph format, and the alteration counts as a format override.

Apply change bars automatically

  1. Make the appropriate document window or book window active. If a book window is active, select the documents you want to affect.

  2. Choose Format > Document > Change Bars.

  3. Specify the thickness of the change bars and the distance from the column of text to the change bars.

  4. Choose the position of the change bars from the Position pop‑up menu. Choose Side Closer To Page Edge or Side Farther From Page Edge to vary the position of the change bars from side to side based on the page layout.

    The position is relative to the edges of the column that contains the changed text, regardless of the number of columns on the page.

  5. Choose a color for the change bars from the Color pop‑up menu.

  6. Select Automatic Change Bars, and click Set.

Automatic Change Bars don’t detect changes in graphics imported by reference unless the name of the imported file has been changed. Automatic change bars also don’t detect changes that affect only formatting. For example, if you only change the tag of a paragraph from Body to Bullet, no change bar appears. In this case you can add a change bar manually if necessary.

Note: If cross-references are updated when Automatic Change Bars is selected, change bars appear next to all changed cross-references.

Apply change bars manually to text in paragraphs

  1. To apply change bars to selected text, choose Format > Style > Change Bar.

  2. To apply change bars to paragraphs, click in a paragraph or drag through several paragraphs.

  3. Choose Format > Paragraphs > Designer and display the Default Font properties.

  4. Select Change Bar, and click Apply To Selection.

Create and apply change bar character format

You can also apply change bars to text using a change bar character format that you create and apply as a character format. You can set the change bar character format to remain active when you update your document with new formats and remove format overrides.

  1. Click in any paragraph and choose Format > Characters > Designer.

  2. In the Character Designer, choose Set Window to As Is from the Commands pop‑up menu.

  3. Select Change Bar, and then choose New Format from the Commands pop‑up menu.

  4. Enter a tag name and click Store in Catalog.

  5. Click Create.

Remove change bars

You can remove all the change bars in a document at the same time or selectively. You can remove the change bars from a single document or from selected files in a book.

Clear all change bars in a document

  1. Make the appropriate document window or book window active. If a book window is active, select the documents you want to affect.

  2. Choose Format > Document > Change Bars.

  3. Select Clear All Change Bars, and click Set.

Remove specific change bars

 Do one of the following:
  • Select the text and choose Format > Style > Change Bar. If some of the selected text isn’t marked with a change bar, choose Format > Style > Change Bar twice to remove the change bars.

  • To remove a change bar applied by a character format, select the text and apply the Default Font from the Character Catalog.

To examine and change text marked with change bars, use the Find/Change command. You can search for text that has the Change Bar property set or for text that uses a character format that sets the Change Bar property.