SlideDiff: Animating Textual and Media Changes in Slides


SlideDiff is a system that automatically creates an animated rendering of textual and media differences between two versions of a slide. While previous work focuses either on textual or image data, SlideDiff integrates text and media changes, as well as their interactions, e.g. adding an image forces nearby text boxes to shrink. Provided with two versions of a slide (not the full history of edits), SlideDiff detects the textual and image differences, and then animates the changes by mimicking what a user would have done, such as moving the cursor, typing text, resizing image boxes, adding images. This editing metaphor is well known to most users, helping them better understand what has changed, and fosters a sense of connection between remote workers, making them feel as if we edited together. After detection of text and image differences, the animations are rendered in HTML and CSS, including mouse cursor motion, text and image box selection and resizing, text deletion and insertion with its cursor. We discuss strategies for animating changes, in particular the importance of starting with large changes and finishing with smaller edits, and provide evidence of the utility of SlideDiff in a workplace setting.