Purpose of a Blackline

Each time a document is shared, a revision is created under the History tab of the Project panel. Here you are able to view/compare different revisions of the document throughout the workflow process, and who made which changes. Milestones are significant revisions designated within the application and will be marked with a yellow star in the revision history. For more information about milestones, see Document History and Revisions. Blacklines do not include formatting changes such as font changes in order to avoid cluttering the blackline unnecessarily.

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Creating a Blackline

Blacklines can be created for documents, workbooks and presentations (presentation blacklines can only be viewed as a PDF, however).

When you place your cursor over one of the revisions listed in the History tab, the Actions icon appears in the upper right corner. Clicking this icon gives you a drop-down menu with the following choices: Open, Preview Revision, Show Changes, Mark as Milestone, Create Blackline, and Create Review. Click on Create Blackline to access the pop-up wizard.

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A blackline can be created using any two versions of a document. The first box of the wizard is populated with the revision originally selected in the History panel. Click and drag a second revision to compare into the second box. Type a name and click Create Blackline to finish. Once the blackline has been created, it will appear under the Blackline tab, also located in the Project panel.

NOTE: If linked data in your document has changed at its source since the last time the document was shared, a new revision will be generated. This revision will not make any changes in your document or share any changes currently in draft, only incorporate changes in linked data from the workbook into the blackline.

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Viewing a Blackline

You can view blacklines on the blacklines tab of the Project panel. Click on the Actions icon to access: Open, Save as PDF, Send for Review, and Delete Blackline. If you choose Open, a Viewer opens in a separate browser window or tab.

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Understanding Blackline Changes

The Viewer outline provides easy navigation and visual notifications of sections with changes. The blue vertical lines to the left of section names (A) indicate changes have occurred. In the document body, additions are indicated with blue underline text (B) and deletions with red strike-through text (C).

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Blacklines can also be sent for review to other editors.

See Sending for Review for more information.

Single Section Blacklines

If you want to examine changes in a specific section, you can also create a blackline of a single section. Simply select the section you want to examine, then proceed with creating a blackline as described above.

You can create a blackline of only the current section you are working in. When you are prompted to choose the revisions you'd like to compare, choose Current section only.

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This will create a blackline which compares only the section you are currently viewing in the Wdesk.

You can also choose which sections are compared in a blackline. When prompted to choose a revision, choose Specify section(s). A submenu will appear, allowing you to choose which sections of your document you want to create a blackline from.

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After choosing what sections you want the blackline created from, click Create Blackline.

Workbook Blacklines

You can also create a blackline for workbooks if you need to view changes made in workbooks. This is a simpler method of comparing numerical changes as compared to creating blacklines of linked documents, as you can compare changes at the source rather than at the linked location.

To create a workbook blackline, open your workbook and choose Create Blackline from the File menu. Select the workbook revisions you'd like to compare, then click Create Blackline to generate your blackline. You can view the newly-generated blackline under the Blackline tab of the Project panel.

Save a Blackline as PDF

Blacklines can also be converted to PDFs for additional review. Keep in mind that content changes are reflected in blacklines, but not formatting changes.

To convert a blackline to PDF, go to the Blackline tab and choose Open under the Actions drop down menu. When the blackline is loaded in the viewer, you can use the Save as PDF icon in the upper left hand corner.

When saving from the viewer, you will be able to include comments, but will not have all of the options available when saving from Wdesk. Workbook blacklines cannot be saved to PDF.

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