Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to compare files in Notepad++, the powerful text editor that revolutionizes the way we work with code, scripts, and plain text.
If you’ve been juggling multiple versions of a file, trying to identify differences and merge changes, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll compare files using Notepad++, exploring its robust features, and providing step-by-step instructions to spot variations between files, line by line, effortlessly.
Whether you’re a seasoned developer, an enthusiastic writer, or someone who frequently works with text files, mastering the art of file comparison will enhance your productivity and help you maintain accuracy in your work.
By leveraging the power of Notepad++, you can say goodbye to manually scanning files for inconsistencies and embrace a streamlined approach to identify changes with precision.
We’ll cover the essential techniques and tools at your disposal, allowing you to save valuable time, avoid errors, and make informed decisions based on the differences between files.
So, whether you’re embarking on a collaborative project, troubleshooting code, or validating data, understanding how to compare files in Notepad++ is indispensable.
Let’s dive in and unlock the full potential of this remarkable text editor together!
How To Compare Files In NotePad++
If you are one of those hard-core coders who spend hours upon hours behind the computer, chances are you are already used to Notepad++.
If you are not used to it, you must know it’s a text and source code editor running on the Windows platform.
It’s free software that doesn’t even take up a lot of space. Many coders utilize Notepad++ to compare two files, although it doesn’t have this functionality by default.
All you have to do now is install the “Compare” plugin. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to compare files in Notepad++:
As you may have guessed, you must first download and install a copy of Notepad++ on your Windows PC. Next, start the Notepad++ application and click on the plugins menu at the top (the main toolbar).
Doing this brings out a list of options in a dropdown menu, select “Plugins Admin“.
You should look out for the “compare” option from the plugin list. Click on the checkbox. Then click on install. Doing this will prompt you that an installation will be started Notepad++ will automatically be restarted.
Next, you have to open two files to compare on Notepad++. Go once more to the plugin option, and just as you have done previously, click on the Plugin Admin option that shows in the dropdown list, then check the compare option.
Alternatively, click the Plugin option on the main toolbar after opening the two files you want to compare and navigate Compare > Compare.
Any differences found in the two files will be instantly visible in Notepad++.
In Notepad++, every line of code that is added, deleted, or modified in any manner is highlighted. These distinctions will be color-coded so that users can track them more easily.
Now you pretty much know how to compare files in notepad++. Let us jump into some other cool software and see how we could achieve the same result using them.
Guide to Comparing Files using Visual Studio Code
Now you know how to compare files in notepad++ let me introduce you to the world of Visual Studio Code.
It may be used to edit, compile, and debug code in various programming languages. However, it may also compare two files and find discrepancies. The following is how it works:
So just like I said when we used Notepad++, the first step would be downloading the Visual Studio Code application. I am using a Windows version, but it should be pretty much the same interface for other operating systems.
Also, again, as we did, open up the two files you want to compare. Next, from the options showing the two files on the left pane, select the two files and right-click to bring out a list of options.
From these options, select “Compare selected“.
This is just the first way to compare using this tool. Here is an alternative way for comparing using Visual Studio Code.
You can click on one file at a time rather than select both together. In this case, select the “Select for Compare” option after right-clicking on the first file.
Then proceed to click on the second file, but in this case, select the “Compare with Selected” option.
Now you have two quick and simple options you could use on your Visual Studio Code.
Guide on Comparing Files in Two Folders
We have so far learned how to compare files in Notepad++ and Visual Studio Code; now, let us discuss comparing files in two folders.
For certain tasks, you may need to compare the contents of two directories and even subfolders, not simply two files. Manually doing so would be very time-consuming and laborious.
There are, fortunately, shortcuts available. The WinMerge utility program is probably your best bet if you’re a Windows user. This is a completely safe and free program that you may use as follows:
So just like I said when we used Notepad++, the first step would be downloading the Winmerge application. It is free and open-source.
Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + O when the installation is complete. The folder comparison box will open as a result of this.
To choose the first folder, click “Browse,” and then repeat the process for the second folder.
Be sure that both folders have the “Read-only” option checked.
Next click on the Compare button at the bottom right corner of the application.
The process of comparing begins right away. You will not need a long waiting period if the folders aren’t too large. If the directories you’re comparing are big, though, you’ll need to be patient.
WinMerge will show files that are unique in white and not comparable in yellow. Overlapping files will be labeled in grey. By right-clicking on the files, you can see the differences.
The Terminal may be used to compare two directories on a Mac. Developers use it as a command-line utility tool to perform fast and simple modifications to the operating system.
Guide on Comparing 2 Word Files
Comparing past and present Word document versions of text files may be very useful if you write regularly.
You may need to combine two papers occasionally, but first, check for any overlap or redundant content.
Fortunately, Word, being a Microsoft Word processor, has a function that allows you to compare two different versions of a document.
To compare two editions of a document in Word, follow these steps:
In Word, open any edition of the doc and go to the “Compare” ribbon under the “Review” tab.
This reveals a few options in a drop-down menu. Select the Compare option.
There will be a new window open. Click “OK” after uploading both versions of the document.
If any alterations were recorded in the updated document, the modifications will be shown in the panel on the left side.
The original file is layered on top of the updated one on the right. They’ll move in lockstep as you scroll the text, allowing you to compare and contrast them.
You may also use the “Combine” option from the “Compare” ribbon. It enables users to merge several writers’ updated Word documents.
Guide on Comparing Two Excel Files
When working with a small dataset, analyzing Excel files may be useful. You may use the built-in comparison tool to examine the files manually.
Consider the following scenario: you have two Excel files recording inventories from two separate months that you need to compare. Here’s how to make a handy summary for easy comparison:
Open both files you wish to compare in Excel. Take care to pick the sheet that will be compared in each file.
In the main toolbar, choose the “View” tab. Then under the Windows section, choose the option to “View Side by Side“.
The workbook will be automatically arranged horizontally in Excel, displaying both files. You may now manually compare and modify these files.
Alternatively, you may use a third-party internet comparison tool. If you don’t want to spend time and need a fast comparison report, use the XL Comparator tool.
It’s a free tool that can handle Excel files of less than 5MB. All you have to do is upload the 2 files and tell the Comparator to look for similar or different data. The findings are available for download, and you may compare the marked similarities and discrepancies.
While this technique is useful and quick, it’s not ideal for working with sensitive information.
How to Compare Files in Linux and Windows 10
You may compare files in various ways, including using the Visual Studio Code editor. The “diff” command, on the other hand, is one of the most common methods to compare text and code.
Most Linux systems come pre-installed with this command-line utility, which is simple to use. This is how the command line syntax looks:
“diff [options] First_File1 Second_File”
To compare two files, Windows users may utilize the integrated command-line utility of the operating system. It’s a straightforward procedure if you know what you’re doing.
To compare them, make sure they’re in the same directory and try these steps:
Go to “Start” and type “Command Prompt.” Then choose “Run as administrator” from the drop-down menu.
Press “Enter” after copying and pasting the command “cd PATH\TO\FILES”
Replace the location of the files in the command, and Now type “fc name1.txt name2.txt” into the command prompt and click “Enter.”
Note, instead of “name1” and “name2,” be sure you enter the proper file name.
Notepad++ Compare vs Compareplus
Regarding comparing and analyzing text files, Notepad++ stands out as a powerful and versatile text editor.
However, for users seeking a more advanced and comprehensive comparison experience, ComparePlus emerges as a noteworthy contender.
Let’s delve into the intricacies of these two tools and explore the distinctive features they bring to the table.
Notepad++ Compare offers a fundamental file comparison functionality, enabling users to assess the differences between two files side by side.
With intuitive highlighting and synchronization options, it allows for efficient navigation through the compared content.
This basic comparison mode, though useful for everyday tasks, may fall short when dealing with complex file structures or larger sets of data.
Enter ComparePlus, a third-party plugin tailor-made to augment Notepad++’s comparison capabilities.
With ComparePlus, users gain access to a rich array of advanced features. Three-way comparison empowers users to simultaneously compare three files, facilitating a comprehensive analysis of changes and variations.
Inline editing allows for on-the-fly modifications during the comparison process, enhancing workflow efficiency.
Moreover, ComparePlus introduces a folder comparison feature, enabling users to compare and synchronize entire directories effortlessly.
This proves invaluable when dealing with multiple files scattered across various folders or in software development projects.
Additionally, ComparePlus integrates seamlessly with popular version control systems like Git, simplifying the comparison and merging changes directly within the Notepad++ interface.
This integration is a boon to developers and professionals working collaboratively or managing code repositories.
While Notepad++ Compare is free as open-source software, ComparePlus comes at a reasonable cost. However, its additional capabilities make it a worthwhile investment for users seeking an enhanced comparison experience.
Below is a comparison table between Notepad++ and ComparePlus:-
|Text editing||Powerful text editing capabilities||Powerful text editing capabilities|
|Syntax||Syntax highlighting for various languages||Syntax highlighting for various languages|
|Plugin support||Extensive plugin support and customization options||Limited plugin support|
|Interface||Traditional interface||Modern interface with a sidebar|
|Comparison||Basic text comparison functionality||Advanced text comparison capabilities|
|File types||Supports a wide range of file types||Supports a wide range of file types|
|Merge files||No file merging capabilities||Advanced file merging functionality|
|Navigation||Basic file navigation features||Enhanced file navigation and search|
|Visual cues||Limited visual cues for differences||Rich visual cues for differences|
|Price||Free and open-source||Commercial software, paid license required|
Can we compare 2 files in Notepad++?
Yes, Notepad++ has a built-in feature to compare two files. To access this feature, go to the “Plugins” menu, select “Compare” and then choose “Compare”. A new window will open where you can select the two files you want to compare.
how to compare two text files in Notepad++ without plugin
To compare two text files in Notepad++ without using a plugin, you can follow these steps:
- Open both text files you want to compare in Notepad++.
- Select “Plugins” from the menu and choose “Compare”.
- In the “Compare” dialog box, click on the “Compare” button.
- The differences between the two files will be displayed in a new window.
Note:– this method only works if the two text files are already open in Notepad++.
Notepad++ compare show only differences
To use Notepad++ to show only the differences between two files, you can follow these steps:
- Open both files in Notepad++.
- From the menu bar, select “Plugins” -> “Compare” -> “Compare”.
- In the Compare dialog box, select the two files you want to compare, then click “OK”.
- Notepad++ will now display the two files side-by-side, with the differences highlighted in red.
- To show only the differences, click on the “Hide Unchanged Lines” button in the toolbar (it looks like a red minus sign). This will hide all the lines that are the same in both files, leaving only the lines that are different visible.
You can also use the “Synchronize Scrolling” button in the toolbar (it looks like two vertical arrows) to make it easier to compare the files. When this is enabled, scrolling one file will automatically scroll the other file to the same location.
How do I compare two files in Notepad++ show only differences?
You can use the Compare plugin to compare two files in Notepad++ and show only the differences. After opening the two files you want to compare, select “Plugins” from the menu, then choose “Compare” and click on “Compare”.
In the new window, you can select “Show Differences Only” to display only the lines that are different between the two files.
How do I compare two Notepad++ files online?
A few websites offer online file comparison services, such as Diffchecker, CompareMyFiles, and Text Compare.
To compare two Notepad++ files online, save them to your computer and then upload them to one of these websites. Once the files are uploaded, you can choose to compare them by content or by file structure.
How to do folder compare in Notepad++?
Notepad++ does not have a built-in feature for folder comparison, but plugins can provide this functionality, such as ComparePlugin and FolderCompare.
To use these plugins, you will need to download and install them first. After installing the plugin, select “Plugins” from the menu, then choose “Compare” and click on “Compare Directories”.
How do I compare two text files for differences?
You can use the Compare plugin in Notepad++ to compare two text files for differences. After opening the two files you want to compare, select “Plugins” from the menu, then choose “Compare” and click on “Compare”.
In the new window, you can see the differences between the two files and where they occur.
How do I compare two text pieces?
To compare two text pieces, you can use an online text comparison tool, such as DiffChecker or Text Compare. These websites allow you to paste in the text you want to compare and highlight the differences between the two pieces.
What is the tool to check the difference between the two files?
Several tools are available to check the difference between two files, such as Notepad++, WinMerge, and Beyond Compare. These tools can compare the files and highlight their differences, making it easy to identify changes or discrepancies.
What tool can I use to compare two files?
You can use several tools to compare two files, such as Notepad++, WinMerge, and Beyond Compare. These tools can compare the files and highlight their differences, making it easy to identify changes or discrepancies.
How do I compare two folders for differences?
You can use a folder comparisons tool, such as WinMerge or Beyond Compare, to compare two folders for differences.
These tools can compare the contents of the folders and highlight any differences between them, making it easy to identify which files have been added, removed, or modified.
What is the plugin for compare in Notepad++?
The plugin for compare in Notepad++ is called the Compare plugin. This plugin allows you to compare two files or directories and highlight their differences, making identifying any changes or discrepancies easy.
How do I compare two directories differences?
You can use a folder comparisons tool to compare two directories for differences, such as WinMerge or Beyond Compare.
These tools can compare the contents of the directories and highlight any differences between them, making it easy to identify which files have been added, removed, or modified.
In conclusion, the ability to compare files in Notepad++ is an invaluable feature for users seeking a powerful and efficient text editor.
By employing this versatile tool, you can effortlessly identify differences and similarities between two files, streamline your workflow, and save valuable time.
Notepad++’s intuitive interface and extensive range of comparison options provide an exceptional user experience, allowing you to easily analyze code, documents, or any other text-based files.
With the ability to highlight discrepancies, merge changes, and navigate through compared files effortlessly, Notepad++ empowers users to make informed decisions and enhance their productivity.
Whether you’re a developer, a writer, or a professional working with text files, the comparison feature in Notepad++ equips you with the necessary tools to excel in your tasks.
Say goodbye to the tedious manual process of comparing files line by line. Notepad++ lets you streamline your workflow, detect changes, and resolve conflicts swiftly. Embrace the power of this exceptional tool and unlock the full potential of your text editing endeavors.
Discover the remarkable advantages of comparing files in Notepad++ today and take your text editing capabilities to new heights.
Experience this feature’s efficiency, accuracy, and convenience, and witness the transformative impact it can have on your work.
Embrace the world of seamless file comparison with Notepad++, and elevate your editing experience like never before.