File Comparisons

File Comparisons

File Comparison

  • Compares the contents of computer files and highlights their differences
  • Useful to determine if files have become corrupted or for rudimentary version control
  • Byte-level comparisons are useful for comparing binary files
  • Side-by-side visual comparisons are useful for comparing text files
  • Windows tools include Beyond Compare, WinMerge, and Microsoft File Compare (WinDiff)

Beyond Compare

  • A Windows-based file and folder comparison utility that also supports Linux
  • Provides both a graphical interface and a command-line interface
    • Text files can be viewed and edited with syntax highlighting
    • Supports scripting
  • Provides dedicated viewers for data files, executables, binary data, and images
    • Supports byte-by-byte comparisons of binary files
    • Supports three-way comparisons
    • Comparison rules can be customized for specific documents, source code, and HTML
    • Text content of Microsoft Word .doc and Adobe .pdf files can be compared but not edited
  • The Pro version provides additional features
    • Merge changes
    • Synchronize files
    • Generate reports as XML, HTML, CSV, Text, Unix Patch files
  • Available from Scooter Software - Beyond Compare

WinMerge

  • Open Source file and folder comparison utility for Windows
  • Provides both a graphical interface and a command-line interface
    • Text files can be viewed and edited with syntax highlighting
    • Shows moved lines
  • Supports byte-by-byte comparisons of binary files
    • Supports three-way comparisons
    • Supports merging changes
  • Generate reports as CSV, Tab-delimited, HTML, XML files
  • Available from WinMerge.org

WinDiff

  • File and folder comparison tool included with Windows
    • Located in Support\Tools folder on the original CD-ROM
    • Included in the Support.cab file with every service pack
  • Provides both a graphical interface and a command-line interface
    • Text files can be viewed
    • Shows moved lines

Sources