What is Blacklining?‏

Blacklining is available as an XTension to QuarkXPress or as a Plug-In for Adobe InDesign to allow a user to retain a complete audit trail of all text changes that have occurred during a document creation process. Initially developed for and intended for use by those in the financial markets, it has been adopted by other businesses such as legal, medical and technical manual document creators.

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 a caret mark so as not to affect the pagination or in strike through view to show what has been removed.

Blacklining has the unique feature of tracking different revision cycles. By choosing these different views it is possible to show a complete history of all the text changes made to a document as it passed through the revision process. Text that has been inserted or deleted will be displayed or hidden depending on the revision level chosen.

Preferences govern the screen display and the printed output. In addition, there is an option to highlight all on-screen marks and have marks in the margin when printed.

The special characters allow 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 for billing or operator information.

An example of a Blacklined document showing changes at all levels (cumulative) in Caret View.

The same document Blacklined showing changes at all levels (cumulative) in Strike View.

Comprehensive preferences enable document output to meet virtually any specification required.

Net Change or Compare View.

As an optional extra users of Blacklining for QuarkXPress have the option to select a ‘compare’ or ‘net change’ view in strike through. This can show the net change of all the edits from the start of Blacklining revision 1 up to the current revision, or other ranges can be chosen. This has the effect of cleaning up all unnecessary edits in documents that have to be submitted to certain regulatory bodies that demand information in this form.

An example of a document entering compare view mode.