This is a tough problem because the intersection of git users and word users isn’t very big. In my opinion, using git with word would be helpful only if it helped in resolving merge conflicts when two documents diverge. If you have ever written something collaborative in word, you know that resolving conflicts is a big pain, especially when they involve more than just text, like tables and formatting. The build-in tool is helpful to an extent but it mostly works when you have a parent and a sibling document instead of two cousins.
Most people I have worked with, have developed their very own version control system for word based on the hot potato model: one author at a time, manuscript gets passed along by email, append your initials at the end of the file name. It is simple and works well most of the time. More advanced workflow involve assigning people specific sections to edit that then get copy-pasted into the parent document.
What problem would adding git to this workflow solve? I am asking because my lab doesn’t use git even for source code so asking them to use it for our documents is probably a bridge too far.
I’m in this intersection and would love to grow it amongst my colleagues
The problems I’m looking to solve though are better described as arising from the wysiwyg mixing of data input and formatting input
Can’t some version of git mergetool to tell git to invoke Word to do the merges for you?
Word can’t merge changes either. “Track changes” is, to the best of my knowledge, only about straight-line history, no branches or merging.
Yes it can. If you have two copies that have diverged, Word has a built-in merge UI. Sharepoint / OneDrive use this for merging.
Heh, I thought this would be about storing an unpacked docx (all the office XML stuff) in git :D
FTR, OpenDocument has flat XML variants (like .fodt) of their usually ZIPped XML formats. They should be easier to keep under version control.
Same! That might allow some measure of branching and merging, but this way is basically git as read-only diff generator, I think.
Sounds easy enough. Next up: check how well LibreOffice is supported by Pandoc!