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How to compare and merge Files and Folders with WinMerge

It may be possible to update files and sometimes you may need to keep several different versions of the same file. It may also be difficult to keep track of the changes.

Keeping Multiple File Versions? You Need A Tool To Compare Them

Difference Merging

When keeping multiple versions, it is easy for things to get out of control. If you need to figure out what is been updated, to merge different versions you can some help with WinMerge.

Winmerge is a free Open source Windows utility that allows you to compare and merge documents on your computer. You can download and install the latest release at WinMerge.org

Compare files with WinMerge

1. Step After the installation you can launch the application.
2. Step If you wish to compare two folders, In Windows explorer, select the folders, and choose WinMerge from the context menu.

WinMerge should display all of the files in both folders, with an identification of which files are identical, and which are
different.

 compare files with Winmerge

3. Step From the listing of the file,you can right-click to open it, or you can copy portions or complete files with the Copy Left and Copy Right buttons in the toolbar.

You can also use key combinations such as the Alt+Left and Alt +Right Arrows.

4. Step WinMerge can not only detail the differences in text file listings, but also visually identify the differences within the files.

You are provided with 3 panes that show the differences.

  • -The leftmost pane displays a map of the file differences.
  • -the orange area show the lines that differ, and the grey areas show the lines that exists in one of the files but not in the other.
  • -The white area shows the lines that are identical.

5. Step WinMerge can also work with other Microsoft office documents or any other type of text documents.

Winmerge is very intuitive and with the options available, you can customize the way that you use the application.
Change colours, or the manner in which the files are compared, with the amount of whitespace that is displayed between lines.

File

6. After merging portions of the files, you can save a copy while retaining both orighinals.

Conclusion

Winmerge is a great utility that save considerable effort when comparing files. The difference are readily displayed without having to search hundred of lines. Merging portions of your files are easy without the need for rewriting, and it is much easier to create original documents.

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Published: Sunday, June 30th, 2013 Last Modified: October 29, 2013

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