As a developer, there is often a need to compare text files as well as directories and see the differences and similarities between them. You cannot go only by the last updated date of the file or the size of the file alone. This will help you locate what code changes were done and where exactly. Many times you are able to catch the error at the first go using Windiff.
By Wiki, WinDiff is a graphical file comparison program published by Microsoft (from 1992), and is distributed with Microsoft Windows.
Carefully locate the link and download Windiff here
http://www.grigsoft.com/download-windiff.htm. It is a small 75kb file and will download in a jiffy.
To compare directories
Choose the ‘Compare Directories’ option from the File menu.
Choose the two directories.
You can toggle the views in Outline and Expand mode.
Here is how the compare directories will look like after the comparison.
To compare files
Choose the ‘Compare Files’ option from the File menu.
Choose the two files when prompted.
You can toggle the views in Outline and Expand mode.
Here is how the compare files will look like after the comparison.
Note the color display for first file (red) and the second file (yellow). You can choose monochrome display also.
This way the use of Windiff easily allows you to compare the contents of two text files and contents of two directories.
All said and well done.
Now when there is a similar and better tool to handle the files folders and the differences between them?
Check this Winmerge from http://winmerge.org/
Exactly the same features of Windiff and much more…ahem..including whitespace also
Here is where you select the folders for compare
Below screen is where you select files for compare.
This is a very useful feature of Winmerge where you get to take a careful look at each difference in the file, merge them left or right.
This tool box of Winmerge lists separate functions like
Difference in the current line, next difference, last difference, very first difference, very last difference, copy right, copy left, all right, all left etc.
Moreover you have an Options menu under which you can customize the editor, colors, backup files, version control etc.
Fix that bug easily, catch that error easily and finish your debugging faster than your peers..
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