What is Blacklining?‏


Blacklining works in conjunction with QuarkXpress or InDesign to allow a user to retain a complete audit trail of all changes made to text. Those who work with financial, legal, medical and other exact documentation will find this an essential tool.

Blacklining tracks changes made to the text of a document as it is being revised. It is designed to allow a user or viewer of a document to be able to see a complete history of changes that have occurred. Text inserts are shown as underlines and text deletes can either be shown as strike through, or have a caret mark from where text has been deleted.

Blacklining has the unique feature of tracking different revision cycles. By choosing different revision cycles it is possible to show a complete history of all the text changes made to a document as it passes through the revision process.

In Operation

If a run of text or word or letter is deleted it will be marked as “Struck-Through” that is a line through the centre of it in a bold form or colour that shows it as being struck out. New text that is inserted will be marked as underlined again in bold or coloured so that it is apparent to the reader that it is a new insert.

It may be obvious though that to retain all the deleted text in a document could mean that it becomes greatly increased in pagination to encompass all the deletes; to enable the pagination to remain correct, it is possible to change views so that struck-through text is hidden but its presence marked only by a small mark or caret to show that a deletion has occurred. Text that has been inserted or deleted will appear or disappear depending on the revision level being displayed.

Preferences govern the screen display and the printed output, and these can be set for individual revision levels as well. In addition there is an option to highlight all onscreen marks and have sidebar markers when printed.

A special characters’ feature allows a live header of a document to be created so that, if used on a master page for example, all pages can have document information such as name, date and time, as well as Blacklining revision numbers and a checksum.

A history file records the actions taken in a documents’ history and this can be printed or exported – which may be useful for billing or auditing.