Workshare Professional is an enterprise-class solution to the problem of tracking and managing changes to critical documents. Working with Microsoft Word, it can compare, convert, and verify content between documents. It converts PDFs to Word documents, compares PDFs with PDFs or Word docs, identifies confidential information in documents, and creates PDFs from any Office file format without requiring Acrobat or other PDF software. It maintains master copies of e-mailed documents, and its metadata search and removal feature removes entire sets of comments, revisions, and other changes.
During the installation process, Workshare automatically selected the appropriate modules to install and gave us the option to deselect them or select additional modules. The main user interface's ribbon-style toolbar and large, clearly labeled icons will fit well in business environments. A pop-up wizard let us quickly select files to compare. We could also open this comparison wizard from the program's Start button as well as open saved files and access the Configuration Manager. This extensive but easy-to-use tool has a page full of clearly labeled Options such as Rendering Sets, Administration, and User Interface, all categorized by headings: Protection, Comparison, Review, General, and Integrations. It also accesses the Rendering Set Manager and licensing data. We loaded two versions of one document: an original and one with substantial changes. Workshare displayed the two documents in smaller, split views; when the comparison finished, it displayed the whole document with changes highlighted in blue in the main window. Tracking the sequence is easy; an onscreen message indicated its number when we placed the cursor over a change. Clicking Manage Changes imports the changes from one document into another, with the opportunity to accept or reject each. It also opens a sidebar displaying the name and data of the person who made each change. We could save files as DOC, text, HTML, PDF, and other file types.
That's just a small part of what Workshare Professional does. It has many productivity-enhancing extras, some of which we'd like to see a lot more of, such as the Clipboard manager and viewer. As enterprise-class software, it proved surprisingly easy to configure and use. Even the most technophobic end users should be able to handle it. The full version of Workshare Professional is free to try for 14 days.
Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Workshare Professional 7.0. The trial version is limited to 14 days.