When it comes to word processors lawyers will almost universally use either MS Word or WordPerfect. These giant applications contain hundreds of features that are capable of meeting just about any imaginable need when it comes to document creation (except proper typesetting). And, in the case of Word, it integrates more or less smoothly with the rest of the Office suite of applications. Powerful stuff.
This muscularity comes with a price, though. There’s the literal price, of course. Then there’s the need to have a decent-sized pack animal around to port the app along with you on your travels. As well, collaboration can be a bit of a do-si-do, with partners passing documents back and forth via email.
Which is where the cloud comes in. Google Docs has been working assiduously of late to add features that are important to professionals, attempting to populate all of the niches left open by Word and WordPerfect. Their most recent addition has been “a new revision history interface.” This improves your ability to find your way in a document’s history, using a differently coloured highlighting for each collaborator and a very detailed record of changes.
Accessed via menu item “File / See revision history”, the record of changes presents you with a list of dates and times. You can choose whether to see less or more detailed revisions, the latter giving you an almost minute-by-minute record of events.
So you can see how it operates, I’ve created this entry in Google Docs and have opened it up for anyone with this link and a Google account to see. Feel free to examine the not very interesting time stamps.