How to find similarities between lists by using ExamDiff Pros plug-in feature
Tutorial Description: If you ever want to compare different lists for similarity, ExamDiff Pro has a powerful plug-in system that enables you to sort and effectively compare lists. This is how you can do it.
Example: You will be comparing the July 5, 2004 versions of Yahoo's all-time U.S. box office hits list and the IMDB top 100 (IMDB lists top 250 movies; you'll need to grab the top 100). For your convenience, the lists have already been created for this tutorial: download imdb_top100.txt into a new file named imdb_top100.txt, and boxoffice_top100.txt -- into a new file named boxoffice_top100.txt.
- Open ExamDiff Pro and click on Options button. Go to the Plug-ins sub-menu.
Click on New.... For Name write "Sort" (without the quotes),
for Extensions -- "txt" (without the quotes), and for
Application -- "c:\windows\system32\sort.exe" (without the
quotes, your system location may be different). Click on the Select Arguments
and click on Input File Path.
- Click on OK to add the plug-in, then click OK to leave the Options page. Then compare
imdb_top100.txt to boxoffice_top100.txt.
- Voila! The two files are now alphabetically sorted, making it easy for you to see
which movies are on both lists.
- If you want to only see the movies that are on both lists, go to View |
Options menu command, select Display | View Filter, uncheck all checkboxes
under File Comparison Filter, and check View Identical Segments.
Click OK to leave the Options dialog.
- Select View | Use View Filter command
(or press Ctrl + D key). Now only movies common to both lists are displayed.
Conclusion: Amazingly enough, only 10 movies match. This is proof that money isn't
everything. (Either way, the IMDB has strange tastes.)
On a serious note, this example shows that ExamDiff Pro plug-ins can be used to massage input files so that results of comparison become more meaningful.