Best Document Comparison Software for Lawyers

Do you want to know the best document comparison software for lawyers? Legal industry and law firms are looking for the right document automation software, that can help them with document comparison. You’ve come to the right place.

Use legal document automation software comparison to find the best law office management software for your firm. Learn how you can get organized and save time and money by using a legal document management system to automate document creation and secure access to confidential client information.

For law firms, a document comparison solution goes hand-in-hand with a metadata management solution. When you compare two versions of a contract for differences, you want to ensure that the final version is cleaned of Comments and Track Changes before it gets emailed to clients or external parties. You don’t want opposing counsel to see what your client is prepared to settle for in a case.

It, therefore, makes perfect sense for a law firm to look for a technology partner that has both in its product portfolio since they are likely to share similar user interfaces, integrations, and technologies. That’s where we come in. 

Document comparison with a difference

compareDocs compares documents natively – it doesn’t convert documents to a proprietary format before comparing. This results in a faster comparison as it doesn’t have to open the source document each time. It also retains formatting and styles while reducing the risk of document corruption.

The compareDocs interface is modern, simple, and intuitive. Loading documents into the interface is made easy by multiple integration points. Add documents directly from Microsoft Office, Outlook, leading document management systems (DMS) and Windows file systems, or simply drag-and-drop into compareDocs and click Compare. The output document can be a traditional Redline or a Track Changes document.

Metadata cleaning at sub-second speed

cleanDocs removes more than 100 metadata types from documents at sub-second speeds, eliminating bottlenecks and lost productivity. This blistering speed is achieved through the binary level and multi-thread processing.

cleanDocs is a hybrid solution, consisting of two modules – cleanDocs desktop and cleanDocs server. They can be deployed independently or together for a more comprehensive metadata management solution.

Complex legal workflows reduced to a single click

Here are just a couple of examples of how cleanDocs and compareDocs deal with complex legal workflows:

  1. compareDocs will compare two image-based PDF documents, mark them up as a Word Redline report, and output it as a Comparison Report
  2. cleanDocs will clean the document of metadata, convert it to PDF, and email it to the recipient
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Document Management Software – A Guide to Features

Generally speaking, legal document management software is special software that stores your documents and provides tools to manage them. The ‘manage’ part of document management software’s capabilities is what sets it apart from using a basic on-premise file server or simple cloud storage.

Document management software can come in either an on-premise variety (installed on your own local servers) or can be cloud-based.  The scope, features and capabilities of any given legal document management software varies from product to product; though broadly speaking, DMS software performs the following functions:

Document & File Storage

The basic storage of documents and other types of electronic files.

Document Profiling / Metadata

The ability to apply attributes (metadata) to documents, including document classifications, types and tags, as well as the ability to apply internal notes to documents.  For instance, the ability to classify a document as a contract or an order.  

Full-Text Search

The ability to search across all documents (and sometimes email), including the file name, metadata and content of documents.

Unique Document ID

Every document is assigned a unique ID, which does not change even if the file name or location of the document does.

Document Check-Out / In

The ability to check a document out, prohibiting others from changing it while the document is checked out to you.

Microsoft Office Integration

Direct integration with the Office suite, typically including Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Document Version Management

The automatic creation and tracking of versions of documents as they are changed.

Email Management

The ability to easily save email messages to a matter, typically via an Outlook add-in.  Learn more about Email Management for Law Firms.

Permissions & Access Management

The ability to permit (or restrict) access to particular matters or data within your firm.

Favorite & Recent Documents

Quick and easy access to recently accessed documents, as well as the ability to “pin” documents as a favorite.

Favorite & Recent Documents

Quick and easy access to recently accessed documents, as well as the ability to “pin” documents as a favorite.

Matter Notes

The ability to create and save Matter Notes within the DMS software.

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More modern, cloud-based Document Management Systems sometimes include these more sophisticated features:

Full Windows & Mac OS Compatibility

Native Windows and Mac support, without the need for virtualization software (such as Parallels).

Practice Management Integration

Integration with your chosen Law Practice Management software such as Clio Manage.

Geographic Data Redundancy

Automatic replication/backup of your data to geographically redundant data centers.

End-to-End Data Encryption

Full encryption of your data in-transit and at-rest, adding enhanced security and compliance.

Multi-Factor Authentication

MFA, requiring a second factor to log into the system, enhancing security and compliance.

With these features in mind, let’s take a look at the best legal document management software for small law firms. We encourage you to learn about each application, visit the publisher’s website and even share your own experience with each application.

Microsoft Word has always had a comparison feature, but Microsoft Word, as part of Office 365, now boasts an improved capability. Law firms upgrading to Microsoft Office 2016 or Word will be looking to evaluate this new feature in the hope that it meets their comparison needs.

However, questions will need to be asked. Is Microsoft Word really the best tool for the job? Can it really meet the demanding requirements of legal comparison?

Microsoft Word native comparison capability, no matter what the version, is no substitute for a specialist comparison tool and here’s why:

No cross-format comparison

Microsoft Word only compares Word documents, yet law firms don’t work exclusively with Word documents. Firms needed a comparison tool that compares PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and image-based documents produced by scanners.

Support for legal workflows

A document comparison solution needs to support typical legal workflows to reduce complexity and inefficiencies. Microsoft Word does not, for example, support an email as Word or PDF with source documents attached workflow.

Print changes only

Changes Only Reports provide a document containing only those pages that have been changed. Microsoft Word does not have ‘print pages with changes only’ option.

Cannot compare image-based documents

Legal professionals work with scanned documents. A document comparison solution should have OCR capability to enable legal professionals to compare image-based scanned documents.

For example, you should be able to compare a scanned document to the original soft copy and output the changes in Word. This workflow is not available in Word’s comparison tool.

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No summary reporting

It is important to have summary reports of statistical differences between two files, as well as listing all settings and options applied to a comparison. Microsoft Word does not have summary report options for statistics on the comparison

Best Legal Document Management Software for 2022

Worldox

LexWorkplace

LexWorkplace is a cloud-based, matter-centric document & email management system. LexWorkplace is the first and only document management platform that has complete support for Windows and Mac.

LexWorkplace will keep your documents, email and notes organized by matter, indexed and searchable. LexWorkplace includes document versioning, powerful search, Email Management/Outlook integration and document tagging/profiling. Being cloud-based, there’s no software to install, nor are any on-premise servers required.

Data stored in LexWorkplace is secured with two-factor authentication, data encryption in-transit and at-rest, and by geographically redundant data centers.

legal document management software - LexWorkplace
legal document management software – LexWorkplace

VISIT WEBSITEWRITE A REVIEW

Worldox is long-running legal document management software.  Worldox is a mature product: it’s been around and used by law firms for over a decade. Worldox is powerful and capable, and integrates with Tabs3, a popular legal practice management and accounting application for law firms.

Worldox is server-based, which means you’ll need to own and maintain an on-premise server to run it. Worldox does offer a hosted version, though this is not a true cloud application (rather, it’s a remote desktop connection to traditional, premise-based Worldox).

legal document management software - worldox
legal document management software – worldox

READ FULL REVIEWWRITE A REVIEWVISIT WEBSITEHOSTED WORLDOX

iManage

iManage is a long-running DMS. It is powerful and robust and provides as many, or more functions to manage documents and email as other Document Management Systems in the industry. It has a powerful index and search engine which works across document and email.

iManage does require significant server resources, as well as a highly specialized IT expert to implement and administer. iManage can be run on your own in-house server or in a private cloud, and is thought by many to be big, and sometimes cumbersome in its technical requirements. Generally speaking, iManage can be a good option for very large firms, but iManage is generally not a suitable document management system for small law firms.

legal document management software - iManage
legal document management software – iManage

Conclusion

Finding the best document comparison software for lawyers is not an easy task. This guide provides the essential information and comparison tools you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

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