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I recently noted that there is an option in the options inspector to set a merge interval for cell changes. This (I think) prevents a quick series of changes from spamming your notebook history with a bunch of times that can bloat the file size and make the history hard to inerpret. That's great moving forward, but my old heavily used notebooks already have a ton of these closely spaced change times. Is there some easy way to retroactively apply the merge interval to the notebook history?

The only thing I came up with was to grep out the times (in python maybe?) and compare them, making appropriate deletions as the file is parsed. I kind of worry that letting a script tinker with the raw notebook text risks breaking things, which would be bad, since these are my most heavily used notebooks.

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Can't you just get the cell change times from each cell (it's in the expression for the cell) and use the difference to merge them? I think it could be done using only mma Notebook* functions and one needn't resort to python –  rm -rf Apr 27 '13 at 22:43
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