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Author Topic: Looking for a difference tool  (Read 5214 times)

app103

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Looking for a difference tool
« on: November 04, 2009, 01:15:05 PM »
I need a tool, either desktop or online, that can show me the difference between 2 blocks of text.

I just want to be able to paste them both into boxes and click a button, rather than having to create files from them in order to compare.

It can't compare line 1 in box A to line 1 in box B and say they are different and leave it at that. It needs to be able to highlight why they are different.

  • Has something been added?
  • Has something been removed?
  • Has something been moved or rearranged?

And it should color code the highlights so I can know what the deal is. And it can not highlight the whole line. It needs to highlight only the differences within the line or block.

I am looking for comparisons like this:

0989878677656545435798-09-9-09-0886675654543544798987978968756754654
0989878677656545435798-09-9-09-0000075654543544798987978968756754654

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
WXYZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV

oiuhuyeekggtdfdsfgesfddhhlkjlokuhyhgffgdfgkjnlk
oiuhuyggtdfdsfgesfdboodhhlkjlokuhyhgffgdfgkjnlk

jfchkjsjhsaflk1234jahbflkjhalkjfhalkjfnakj9000kjhdkjghkjdhgkjdhkjfdhjkd
jfchkjs5678jhsaflkjahbflkjhalkjfhalkjfnakjkjhdkjghkjdhgkjd1234hkjfdhjkd

The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.
The quick brown dog jumped over the lazy red fox.


So far I haven't found one that can do this with comparing a very long single line string to another, and without me having to make files out of them first.

JavaJones

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2009, 01:40:13 PM »
Winmerge - free, open source, frequently updated. Here's how: First go to options and in the Editor section under "Line Difference Coloring", switch to "Character level" for line differences. You'll only need to do this once of course. Now (and in the future) just click New Documents (first icon on toolbar), put in text in both sides, click Refresh (F5 or from View menu). There is even an auto-refresh preference so no need to hit F5 - just look through the options. Lots of good stuff in there. :D No need to save the files either, though it's optional when you quit or create new docs (you can just choose "Discard all").

- Oshyan

tn_dang

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 02:39:17 PM »
Beyond Compare v3.x can compare text that you create "on the fly"/paste from the clipboard.

app103

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009, 03:00:03 PM »
Someone on Friendfeed gave me a link to this online demo of Diff/Match/Patch open-source library from Google: http://neil.fraser.n...demos/demo_diff.html

It does the trick.  :)

Beyond Compare v3.x can compare text that you create "on the fly"/paste from the clipboard.

I have an older version, and I am not sure if I qualify for the free upgrade, which edition I'd be getting if I did, and what exactly the difference is between what I already have and the new one I would be getting.

I remember reading somewhere that it was stated that those that took the free upgrade would actually lose some functionality in the process. It was all such a confusing mess that I never bothered to figure it out or even see if I qualified for the free upgrade.

mwb1100

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 04:01:31 PM »
Compare It! also seems to do a pretty good job with this, and there's a long-standing 50% discount on DC (so it would run $15).

rjbull

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2009, 04:02:14 PM »
app103, take a look at TED Notepad, a small, very fast and amazingly feature-rich editor.  Press Control-Alt-M and you get boxes to type/paste your texts in.  Don't know if it will show the differences as clearly as you want, see image attached, but it's worth a look as an all-round useful "Swiss Army knife for text" anyway.

JavaJones

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2009, 04:13:22 PM »
App, did Winmerge not do what you wanted? I'm just curious, if I know what it still needed, I might know of an alternative.

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app103

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 04:44:26 PM »
I didn't even try Winmerge, since the Diff/Match/Patch demo did the trick. I'll try out some of the other suggestions later on when I have more time to devote towards testing out new software.

Thanks, everybody.  :)

sajman99

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 02:12:35 PM »
Seems I'm a bit late, but AptDiff is another text comparison tool worth a shot.

sunlitlaz

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009, 01:54:45 AM »
Another nod for Beyond Compare.  I have been using it for years and it just gets better and better (it's updated often).  Version 3 lets you compare text, text files, binary comparisons, folders, hex, mp3 files, pictures and more.  Plus it can sync folders that you compare and merge text.  It has become a tool that I would be hard pressed to live without.  You can open the app and type or paste text into one side and then the other to compare text that way without creating files first.  It does a great job of highlighting the diffs too.

Just my 2cp worth.  :Thmbsup:
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MerleOne

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 09:35:52 AM »
AJC Diff, from AJC Software (http://www.ajcsoft.com) ?
.merle1.

liuxin4335

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2010, 05:34:07 AM »
Compare++ is another select. It support comparing text pasted from the clipboard


I am sales representative of Compare++, any question, you can ask me. Thanks a lot.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2010, 06:26:27 PM by liuxin4335 »

lanux128

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Re: Looking for a difference tool
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2010, 06:56:13 AM »
Compare++ is another select. It support comparing text pasted from the clipboard

all your posts have been about Compare++, are you affiliated with this product? if so, you can announce the product here or you're just a fan, you can write a review about it here.

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