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Compare File Software - find better tool within various compare utilities

Compare file and compare text utilities are indispensable when matching source code versions for correction and matching, especially if you have source code being produced by different authors. 

Whatever the source code language, C++, C#, Visual Basic, Object Pascal, Java, Perl or any other, the ability to compare file or compare text contents accurately and quickly can make the difference between delivering a project on schedule and on budget or a  project management nightmare.  In this article we shall examine some of the compare file utilities available on the market.

Active File Compare from Formula provides a compare file and compare text solution delivered in side by side windows with highlighted code lines if they differ.  This utility also provides the facility to manage changes being made by several authors and includes a file manager which manages folder contents when loaded, saved or copied.

Compare It!3 from Grig Software takes the compare file and compare text utility further with the recent enhancements including the ability to compare unzipped files with the zipped version (a major time saver) and a revamped editing engine.  The editing engine is able to provide true editing capacity no matter what the keyboard or mouse being used and all keyboard operations are supported including bookmarks.  Compare It!3 also appears to have taken on board the need for word wrapping to minimize scrolling with the usual compare text and text editor utilities.  A further feature is that compare text utilities falter when non-text files are being edited but Compare It!3 has a suite of file converters ready to use.

Beyond Compare from Scooter Software is a Windows based compare file utility for source code management.  Beyond Compare will manage source code, sync folders and compare the program output while taking a snapshot of a live directory for comparison against future live copies.  This compare file and compare text utility will also handle zip archives and ftp sites, update websites and merge source code alterations.

Moving onto the freeware/shareware compare file utilities available, there is an extremely wide choice however you are generally limited by solutions that only handle compare file or compare text functions on an application specific basis.  Japos Compare File-source Code 1.04 will handle  Delphi file/text comparisons but you'll need 4TOPS to compare file and compare text with an Excel file or AKS-Labs Compare PDF for a pdf file.  Support for freeware and shareware compare file utilities is also a major issue to be aware of when selecting a solution particularly for an involved project.

Of the shareware offerings, Quickspot File Compare 4.2 from FamTech is another compare file/compare text utility that provides a visual side-by-side representation you'd expect to find in a commercial solution.  This solution will compare file and text variations down to the byte level and the software download has been tested and certified adware and spyware free by  You will still need to find file converters for non-text compare file functions and again do not expect the level of functionality to be gained from the commercial offerings.

Whichever compare file or compare text utilities you go for, there are a very wide range of commercial and freeware/shareware offerings so take some time to road test the utilities before committing to them.  Source code projects are time consuming and good project management is mission criticalFree Reprint Articles, so be comfortable with the utility you choose as you'll be relying heavily upon it for some time to come.

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