Working on a computer on a daily basis also adds up those files and documents. The more the files, the more the junk, and so they need your special attention. You don’t want to keep adding up on duplicate files or miss any changes made to the files by someone else, do you? Comparing your files at regular intervals is the solution to this.
Comparing hundreds of files manually is a tedious task and virtually impossible. There are high chances that you would miss out on something. You might also want to double check with the files if there have been any changes made by hackers! The smartest thing to do here would be to use a file comparison tool to compare files effectively, while you save time.
While applications like Google Drive, or Dropbox may help you to a certain extent by running file revisions, you would need to use these services. For that, you would also need an internet connection. Besides, you need to use these services and upload the files to keep a track of the service on a regular basis.
Here we have shortlisted some of the best file comparison tools that makes things easier and saves time.
AptDiff is a freeware that’s now discontinued, but still available to download through some third-party websites. Despite being free, it’s an advanced and responsive file comparison tool for Windows. It lets you compare two files (text or binary) to check if any of them is a duplicate. It gets downloaded quickly and is pretty easy with no complications involved. From options to customize keyboard shortcuts, getting file backups, or personalizing the UI fonts and colors to supporting multiple languages, there’s a lot that it’s capable of.
Those looking for a file comparison tool would find DiffMerge much helpful due to its powerful features. The application visually compares files and even merges them on major platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux. Moreover, it graphically represents the modifications between the two files. Also, it features options like intra-line highlighting and complete support for editing. Similarly, it also shows the modifications (merging) between three files, graphically.
It enables the files to merge automatically whenever possible, and also allows complete control on the editing of the file generated. Furthermore, it compares the two folders side-by-side, while displaying which files are only present in a single file or in the other. It also shows the file pairs that are either similar or different.
If you are looking for a simple, yet powerful graphical tool that helps to merge and comparing text files, Diffuse can be your best bet. It can easily compare random file parallelly while providing you the option to manually adjust line-matching and also the option to edit files directly.
Not just that, it can also recover amendment of files from Darcs, SVK, Monotone, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar, RCS, Subversion, and CVS libraries for comparison and merging. What’s more? Line-matching can be manually amended by the user, option for syntax highlighting, or easy navigation of keyboard are some of its other major features to look out for.
It’s an easy to use file comparison tool, that allows you to compare to documents. Examdiff is a freeware that does not need you to mention both the filenames, but just entering the directory name for one of the files for comparison should be fine. Among its significant features are auto pick feature to remember matching files, automatic detection of file changes and notifying users to repeat the file comparison, quick selection of the two files to compare, drag and drop option to add one or two files in the program window, or easy editing of both the files.
There are any more features offered by this tool which you can explore on your Windows platform.
Kdiff3 allows you to upload up to 3 files to compare at a time. It shows up a prompt where you need to load the files you want to compare. You can view the files next to each other on the interface later. All you need to do is to scroll through to view all of them at once.
The program compares or merges two or three text input files or directories, and also displays the results line by line and by each character (!). Moreover, it offers an automatic merge-option and an inbuilt editor for easy solving of merge-conflicts.
Furthermore, it provides support for Unicode, UTF-8, and other codecs, and also KIO on KDE that lets you access ftp, sftp, fish, smb, and more.
Among its other major features are, printing of differences, alignment of lines manually, and merging of version control history automatically. The best thing is, it comes with a responsive graphical user interface.
If you are looking for a bit advanced tool that’s fit for business, Workshare Compare is perfect. It allows you to compare word documents and even PDFs (text-based). It can run on browsers, mobile phones, PCs, or can also be embedded in other document creation, sharing and management platforms.
The program makes sure that it completes the process fast and accurate while ensuring that no little change is missed. Despite the length or complexity of the content, you can toggle through easily between separate changes. You can also focus on the modifications grouped in categories.
It allows you to perform a comparison from Outlook, and also review Word, PDF, Excel and PowerPoint files. What’s more? It also provides you the option to compare snippets of text or code, or you can compare two images or tables, or for that matter, any content. Ability to access documents while on the move is one of its other great features.
Price: free trial available; pro version starts from $15
Winmerge is a free and open source file comparison tool designed for Windows. It helps you compare both files and folders, that generate differences in a visual text format which is easy to manage and understand. It’s extremely handy in identifying the changes that took place between different project versions, and accordingly blending the changes between different versions.
This program can also be used as an external comparison or merging tool, or also as a standalone application. It comes with a tabbed interface, supports Unicode, and handles Windows, Unix and Mac text file formats. Folder compare, image compare, version control, or shell integration, are some of its other major features.
Meld is a file comparison tool specially designed for developers. This visual diff and merge tool that allows you to compare files, directories, and projects that are version controlled. The program offers two to three-way file and directory comparison. It also supports several well-known version controls. It also helps you to review code changes and get hold of patches. What’s interesting is, it can also help you to determine what’s happening inside that merge.
It can edit files and comparison updates on the go, and also allows you to effortlessly operate between differences and conflicts. Syntax highlighting is another of its file comparison feature. You can also compare two or three directories by each file, while displaying new, missing, and changed files. Moreover, it can directly open file comparisons, and can even filter out files or directories to avoid viewing false differences.
The program provides support for several version control systems, such as Git, Mercurial, Bazaar and SVN. In addition, it also lets you launch file comparison to analyze the changes made, see file versioning status, and more. Furthermore, it merges two files automatically with the help of a common ancestor, mark and show the base version, locks down read-only merge bases to do away with mistakes, and much more.
Tkdiff is a plain and simple application for file comparison that can be used to compare the matter within two files. It works with plain text documents (in text format), and the TCL ones. The best part is, the tool is easy to use and so, can be handled by any type of user whether beginner or experienced.
It comes with the usual type of interface with a simple design, where you have the option to choose the files for comparison using the file browser. You can view the results in a dual-pane window. Here you can clearly notice the differences found between the file contents marked in blue. This is possible due to the syntax highlighting feature.
It shows line numbers, bypasses the white spaces, synchronizes scrollbars, and also go the first, previous, last or next difference. It can also write a merge file, or utilize a search feature while handling huge amounts of data. The program hardly uses the CPU and system memory and hence, it does not hinder the runtime of other active processes.
Diff doc is a straightforward file comparison tool that helps you compare files fast, accurately, and effortlessly. Whether you are using MS Word, Excel, WordPad, Notepad or any other editor, all you need to do is to load the original and changed files, and then click the refresh button to compare files (or press F5on keyboard) and the file comparison shows up instantly.
It also allows you to compare folders to understand exactly which files have changed prior to carrying out a detailed file comparison. The application is able to show the file differences in two likely views, such as in ‘All In One’ or ‘Side By Side’ mode. The benefits of both the views are that hanging between them is as smooth as the click of the mouse (or just by pressing F6). And, finally, there is a wide range of report types and options that help share the differences detected with your peers.
Price: free trial available; upgrade available for $399.95
Comparing your files on a regular basis will not just keep you safe from hackers or changes you missed, it also frees up as much space on your system that duplicate file would take up. So, keep your system clean with these super file comparison tools and get the maximum performance.
Docuproof by GlobalVision compares two different files to manage the preciseness of the text contained in an artwork, document, and packaging development plan. This way you can make sure that there are no unexpected modifications when your text shifts from the copy of the document to the print.
Automatic proofreading feature helps avoid even the smallest of the errors. The program offers different tools that can identify differences in any language. It makes it much easier to evaluate text and proofread foreign languages you are aware of.
It also works as a document comparison software, that can check the final PDF generated compared to the original text document. This helps make sure that the comparison is consistent. It allows you to compare PDF documents, two-word documents, two text files, or files of two different varieties. It can also detect errors in spelling, changed, added or removed copy, and if any location changes.
From font size sensitivity, web page inspection, or checking of templates to the inspection of tables, and handling native files, it offers many features to look out for.
Price: starts from $150 per user
Beyond Compare Version 3
Beyond Compare is another great file comparison tool that uses its intelligent technology to compare files and folders. It uses simple, yet strong commands that highlight the difference you are looking for ignoring the ones you are not interested in. It helps merge changes, synchronize files, and even produce reports.
What’s more? Using this tool, you can also access data (FTP sites, media devices, WebDAV resources, svn repositories, and cloud storage) anywhere. Best of all, it’s compatible with all major platforms, such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. Moreover, it offers integrated comparison viewers for different types of data.
Price: pro version priced at $60, per seat
8 thoughts on “12 Best Free File Comparison Tools for Windows PC”
Very Useful article on file comparing tools. Thank You to writer !!
how we can compare the data directly from files?
if source file has
And Target file has
Then provider1 in source should be compared with provider1 in target
Thank you for brief description. which one of these file compare, can automatically synch or merge 2 or 3 folders?
Great report. I wonder if you could send me a report on best back up software for windows 10 on external drive.
I miss P4Merge and Diffinity on this list, for those like me who like the look of Meld but can’t stand the controls.
Thank you very much.. i had been using WinMerge for years in my other computer. And on laptop I had to download that again but forgot it’s name. And your this page helped me recalling the file name.
thank you. WinMerge wins.
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