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Re: [NTB] Comparing text files

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  • Art Kocsis
    Absolutely I have a suggestion. Without doubt (IMNOHO), the best text, HTML (and graphic, HEX, mp3, csv, multiple programming languages, EXE versions, UTF8,
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 19, 2009
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      Absolutely I have a suggestion. Without doubt (IMNOHO), the best text, HTML
      (and graphic, HEX, mp3, csv, multiple programming languages, EXE versions,
      UTF8, Unicode, ++), comparison program available is Beyond Compare.

      http://www.scootersoftware.com

      I first discovered this app years ago after reading a gushing review. At first
      I thought, "yeah, right" but gave it a try anyway. Well the reviewer was right.
      Every time I thought the app should do something I found it already did. And
      did it in a natural, intuitive way.

      To me the most important aspect of file (text) comparison is the ability to
      resynch after a mismatch. BC not only has awesome prowess in resynching
      lines of text but it resynchs WITHIN lines of text! An inserted or missing
      character will show up as just that, a single char diff not an entire line
      mismatch.
      (It even resynchs binary files!) And on those rare occasions when it makes a
      poor choice you can easily resynch manually. It also has a built-in editor.

      This is not just a simple char by char comparator but a fairly intelligent
      one.
      It distinguishes between important and non-important differences highlighting
      them with different colors. The user can define the importance criteria - from
      simple built-in white space selections or word substitutions to total
      customization
      using regular expressions. It blew my mind the first time I saw it deem a
      PARAPHRASE of HTML code unimportant! (It was right!) The app can limit its
      analysis to selected columns of text or HTML tables. It can even compare
      a multitude of archives (ZIP, RAR, 7Z, gzip, TAR, etc - all the archives
      that 7ZIP
      can handle), and compare the files within the archives.

      There are just too many features to this rich program to describe here. Try it
      for 30 days free. Considering all that it does, the $30 cost is pretty cheap. A
      Pro version which adds three-way comparisons is available for $50. Integrate
      BC with the power tool file manager, ZTree, and you've got one h*ll of a system
      for managing your disk. (email me for how to integrate BC into ZTree)

      BTW, if you are limited to freeware apps try WinMerge (http://winmerge.org/).
      It is OK but nowhere near as powerful as Beyond Compare.

      Namaste', Art

      At 09-18-2009 07:03, you wrote:
      >I'm _trying_ to wean myself out of Microsoft Word (for a number of
      >reasons, including having all the most necessary stuff in a flash drive,
      >and possibly moving to Linux in the future), but I'm stumbling on one
      >feature where I can't find a decent replacement:
      >
      >Text comparison. I tried OpenOffice.org. I tried a number of specialized
      >text comparison tools. They all proved unsatisfactory -- mostly by an
      >inability to pinpoint the exact difference. This is a feature in which
      >MS-Word shines. I can open a HTML formatted file, run a compare with the
      >original plain-text file and it will pinpoint the changed words, if any.
      >
      >Many of the tools I found, though, seem to be geared towards programmers
      >-- thus, they tend to do line-by-line comparison, and are totally
      >flummoxed by simple things like a different word-wrapping width. Others
      >just can't handle insertions or deletions more than a few words long
      >-- they can't seem to "resync" the text lower down. And few offer the
      >option to display results in what Word calls the "legal blackline" format.
      >
      >Most will only work with plain text -- I would prefer one that is able
      >to understand formatted HTML. I'm concerned about the text content first,
      >formatting second.
      >
      >Any suggestions?
      >
      >Marcelo

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    • Christopher Chaltain
      Have you tried IBM Lotus Symphony? It s a free word processor. We use it at the office, and I ve heard people complain that change tracking isn t as good as
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 20, 2009
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        Have you tried IBM Lotus Symphony? It's a free word processor. We use it at
        the office, and I've heard people complain that change tracking isn't as
        good as Word's, but it may be worth looking at.

        --
        Christopher
        chaltain@...






        _____

        From: notetab@yahoogroups.com [mailto:notetab@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        Marcelo Bastos
        Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 9:03 AM
        To: notetab@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [NTB] Comparing text files




        I'm _trying_ to wean myself out of Microsoft Word (for a number of
        reasons, including having all the most necessary stuff in a flash drive,
        and possibly moving to Linux in the future), but I'm stumbling on one
        feature where I can't find a decent replacement:

        Text comparison. I tried OpenOffice.org. I tried a number of specialized
        text comparison tools. They all proved unsatisfactory -- mostly by an
        inability to pinpoint the exact difference. This is a feature in which
        MS-Word shines. I can open a HTML formatted file, run a compare with the
        original plain-text file and it will pinpoint the changed words, if any.

        Many of the tools I found, though, seem to be geared towards programmers
        -- thus, they tend to do line-by-line comparison, and are totally
        flummoxed by simple things like a different word-wrapping width. Others
        just can't handle insertions or deletions more than a few words long
        -- they can't seem to "resync" the text lower down. And few offer the
        option to display results in what Word calls the "legal blackline" format.

        Most will only work with plain text -- I would prefer one that is able
        to understand formatted HTML. I'm concerned about the text content first,
        formatting second.

        Any suggestions?

        Marcelo

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