Compare Files with Code Compare

Code Compare is a powerful file comparison tool that allows you to compare, diff and merge text files or folders. You can use Code Compare both in its stand-alone version and as a utility you can integrate with various IDEs and version control systems. Code Compare features such functionality as 3 way file comparison and merging, detection of similar lines and an ability to change source comparison depth.

Two-way file comparison

Code Compare's main functionality allows you to check differences between two files or folders. The file comparison window contains two open files (two revisions) in two panes - the source pane and the target pane. You can customize comparison options so that Code Compare will show differences between two text files in various specialized ways depending on your current needs - for example, it can be tweaked to ignore whitespace characters, comments, line breaks or case. Code Compare also has a built-in Similar Lines Detection feature. Ordinary comparison tools use algorithms based on search for strictly equal strings. With Similar Lines Detection, Code Compare can detect approximately equal strings, which provides better results when you need to compare contents of two files.

Preliminary Comparison of Large Files

Recently, we updated Code Compare with functionality that allows it to quickly compare and diff large text files. This feature applies to files larger than 10 Mb - after running a comparison, you will see a dialog box with information about the size, date and last modification for each file and info about file differences. This behavior works only with the enabled Use binary quick comparison before opening option (enabled by default).

File Merging

Code Compare can be used as a file merge and comparison tool. Code Compare provides the ability to merge content with a single click. Special merge buttons called by the hotkeys allow you to include content into a certain area of the target pane or remove it from there. Code Compare also supports 3 way merge functionality which allows you to compare and merge three files at once.

Levels of File Comparison

Code Compare provides different depths of source comparison:

  • • Symbol by Symbol comparison - in this mode, Code Compare highlights each of the different symbols with specific color.
  • • Word by Word comparison - whole words are compared with each other
  • • Line by Line comparison - lines will be considered different even if they have only one different symbol.
Code Compare utilizes a special approach to comparison, based mainly on the Structure Comparison method. This results in a comparison algorithm that can recognize basic code structure in various languages (namely C#, C++, JavaScript, Java, Visual Basic and XML) and adjust the comparison results accordingly.