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Decent alternative to WinDiff

I'm fed up with ploughing through pages of files that Visual Studio's WinDiff lists as different, only to be told that 'different in blanks only.'

Anybody know of a good freeware alternative to WinDiff that can filter out the white-space without bothering me?

Ged Byrne
Monday, September 23, 2002

ExamDiff is free and may have the feature you want, but ExamDiff Pro is worth the money.

WinDiff 5.0 has an "Ignore Blanks" option.  I dunno what it does.

David Blume
Monday, September 23, 2002

How about "diff", from the GNU DiffUtils? No GUI, but it does support all the usual UNIX diff features (including ignoring whitespace changes).


Mark Bessey
Monday, September 23, 2002

Look at

Excellent diff tool, and it's free/open source.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Beyond Compare does that and lots else.

Scott McKissock
Monday, September 23, 2002

Why do MFC apps insist on having detachable menu bars? (Beyond Compare)

Monday, September 23, 2002


Fred Washington
Monday, September 23, 2002

My oldest WinDiff (Sep 97) has Options:Ignore Blanks which works as you'd expect.

Philip Prohm
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Here's another vote for Beyond Compare. It's great for comparing files and synchronizing complete directories and as a plugin for WinCVS.

Jan Derk
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Try Walter Oney's fcompare.exe diff program.  Is free and works great:

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Another vote for Beyond Compare.

Troy King
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Thanks for the tips.  I'll give them all a try.

I have 'Ignore Blanks' set, but I'm still getting that 'different in blanks only' message over and over again.

I'm comparing SQL Server 7 generated scripts from two (supposedly) identical databases,  saved as ANSI.

Ged Byrne
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

For a mass set of diffs I'd always go for a command line utility rather than a graphical one. 

For individual files I tend to use UltraEdit and the diff from that and then use its locked scrolling mode so it moves in parallel through the two files.

Simon P. Lucy
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

You should have a look at Araxis Merge, which is easy to use and really nice! And a 30-days evaluation version is available.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

[[ Another vote for Beyond Compare. ]]

And another one. It's excellent in comparing text files, binary files (using it's own plug-in), directories. And it's very nice-looking and stable - I'm using it all the time and everywhere.
It also integrates to the shell so one can compare files and directories by right-clicking them - very handy !

Evgeny Goldin
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I've tried WinMerge and Beyond Compare.

WinMerge is nice, but Beyond Compare really is in a leage of it's own.

I can do my comparisons in Explorer, and it will keep up if I make changes to the files while its open.

Thanks for the tips, I think I'll have to register BC.

Ged Byrne
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I've done even better than beyond compare, well for the job I'm doing anyway.

Redgate have and excellent SQL compare utility that not only shows me the differences, but even generates the scripts needed to bring both databases into line.

Ged Byrne
Friday, September 27, 2002

Check out FolderMatch. They even have a web page where they compare themselves against WinDiff.  It's not free but they do offer a large discount to WinDiff users who choose to switch.

Also, it has won awards the last two years in a row (2002 & 2003) at the Shareware Industry Awards so you know it has to be pretty quality stuff.

John Margolis
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Just downloaded winmerge from sourceforge and it worked great!!!  Plus it's free. :)

Amin Mirza
Saturday, March 20, 2004

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