From time to time we have to compare files, documents and folders in order to find differences between them. File comparison is quite a daunting task especially when it concerns huge files and particularly important documents. For example, a sales manager often needs to compare price lists, commercial offers and other financial and promotional documents. It happens that some of these documents are made based on previous versions of the same docs. Very often sales managers receive updated price lists from suppliers, and in such a case comparison of documents is the only effective way to find differences in prices, supplies volumes and other figures that are extremely important for any business. This is only a simple example, since comparison of files and folders is a frequent procedure for millions of employees over the world, begin and from secretaries and document officers and ending with lawyers and programmers. No matter what texts are being compared, legal contract war source code of an application, all differences and similarities are to be found. Moreover, effective file compare solution should have a variety of features in addition to comparison that make the entire process enjoyable, fast and efficient. In this article we’ll talk about major features that an efficient file compare utility should have.
First off, usability of any software is a primary concern for every user. File compare utilities are not an exception here. Thus there should be no problems in understanding the way to operate such a file compare solution. Program interface must be comprehensive and look like the majority of most popular office applications. No additional IT knowledge is required to accurately use file compare software. Very often, such programs come with special comparison wizards that guide novice PC users through the process of file comparison. This is very convenient and in most cases time saving, especially if you’re not very good at using office applications.
Of course, comparison features of the most valuable since the user is interested in an excellent job done by the software. There are several comparison methods that work best for different purposes: char by char, word by word, line by line word comparison by keywords (if compared documents have very little similarity degree). For example, word by word comparison would be a good choice for contrasting of two documents the common ancestor, while comparison by keywords best option for two different docs containing common keyword.
Programmers would definitely appreciate the idea of dividing the text into programming code and normal text. For example, when comparing HTML web pages webmasters might be interested only in the HTML code wild copywriters focus on the web page contents. Good file comparison software would have that feature that recognizes various codes of different programming languages.
It would be great to comment on changes especially when working as a part of that team. In such a way one can save much time and efforts since there is no need to e-mail them or personally contact colleagues regarding the two compared documents. All one has to do is to leave comments to winds of words in the text and save a report will contain all such remarks and comments.