Software recommendation: fast comparison similar files to find different

In our usual work, sometimes after a certain file has been modified several times, we may want to retrieve some contents in the old version again, but there may be many similar contents in the two versions of the file, and it is rather troublesome to find out where the minor changes have been made. In such a case, we don’t need to struggle with manual comparison, just use some file comparison tools under Windows to achieve the purpose easily.

File comparison in Office

Our usual office commonly used Office suite (this article takes the 2016 version as an example), it provides a powerful comparison tool, but the use of its comparison function is slightly different for different applications.

Take Word as an example, after the software starts into the main interface, switch to the “Review” tab, click the toolbar “Compare → Compare”, in the dialog box that opens, respectively, set the original draft and the need to compare the revised draft. Click “More” to expand this dialog box, in which you can make various settings for the comparison items, such as adding tables, headers, footers, formatting, etc. to the comparison items (Figure 1).


Figure 1 to compare the settings of the project

Click “OK” to return to the main interface, the Word interface is divided into four: the middle is a comparison of the document, with a red line marking the specific location of the changes. The left side shows all the changes made to the content, the right side of the upper and lower two cells are shown in the original and revised draft of the same location of the content, to facilitate our comparison.

These documents are all linked, one document scrolls and the other two change with it. Click on the left side of any changes to the content, Word will automatically positioned to the corresponding position in the article.

Tip: click on the toolbar above the “change” column of the “previous” and “next”, you can review the order, and can be accessed by ” Accept” and “Reject” to determine whether to retain the changes, very square example (Figure 2).


Figure 2 multi-pane display comparison of documents

The comparison function in PowerPoint is slightly different from Word. Switch to the “Review” tab, click the toolbar’s “Compare” button, a direct pop-up dialog box requires the selection of other documents compared with the current project, and only provide “merge “option (Figure 3).


Figure 3 PowerPoint’s merge dialog box

Click “Merge” to return to the main interface, through the toolbar on the “Previous”, “Next” can be accessed item by item, to confirm which of the two PPT documents have been modified slides You can check which slides in the two PPT documents have been modified, and the specific modified items on the currently selected slide (Figure 4). Click on the slide thumbnail to confirm the results of the changes, or click on the thumbnail again to restore it if you do not want to modify it. After viewing, click the toolbar “End Review”, you can close the comparison of the presentation document.


Figure 4 Compare slides of modified items

Lightweight comparison tool Diffnity

Office software is mainly for large documents such as DOC and PPT. For light-weight files like TXT which are purely textual in nature, a small tool like Diffinity will do the trick. In addition to the difference in magnitude, Diffinity also has a difference with Office, that is, it is mainly for the comparison of text files such as program source code.

From下载Diffinity的安装文件DiffinityInstaller.exe (pay attention to the file name so as not to download adware from the website by mistake), after installation and startup, you can see that the main interface of Diffinity is Two large windows, left and right, are used to display the original file and the file to be compared (Figure 5).


Figure 5 Diffnity’s comparison of HTML code files

Diffnity mainly provides a comparison function, unlike Office, so we can modify a file without affecting the content of the other file, and finally save it separately.

Tip: A special feature of Diffnity is that when the document to be compared is some kind of program code, it will display different contents of the code in different colors according to the syntax of the program code, thus facilitating us to correct the code while comparing documents. Currently Diffnity has built-in support for many code formats, such as HTML, XML, JS, CSS, PY, Java, JavaScript, C&C++, ASP, etc., and we can also extend it by ourselves through plug-ins (Figure 6).


Figure 6 Diffnity supports multiple code formats

There are many other software similar to Diffinity, such as WinMerge, UltraCompare, etc. Their main function is to compare files, but on top of that each software has its own characteristics, for example, the new version of WinMerge provides functions such as image file comparison in addition to text comparison, UltraCompare UltraCompare provides a comparison of system registry, providing convenience for registry modification, etc. You can choose according to your specific needs.


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