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ExamDiff Pro Plug-ins

Plug-ins Overview

ExamDiff Pro provides an ability to preprocess files prior to comparison via the use of plug-ins. Any console application that converts files can be used as an ExamDiff Pro plug-in. The table below lists some useful programs that are either included with the Windows operating system or free third-party tools, along with setup instructions and download links (where applicable).

Plug-ins, like all other ExamDiff Pro options, can be set for either the Unnamed Default Session, or for any other session. It is useful sometimes to create special sessions for specific plug-ins, or sets of plug-ins.

Note: most applications described below have additional options. They are usually discovered by opening the command prompt and typing the program name followed by the carriage return key. Sometimes you need to type the space character and /?, /help, or --help after the program name. While the instructions presented here use default options, you may need to use other options in order to produce desired results.

When you install ExamDiff Pro 3.5 or higher, you can choose to automatically install certain plug-ins. The plug-ins that can be automatically installed are marked with a * on this list.

If a plug-in produces no output or gives strange results when applied to clipboard contents, see this FAQ article.

Available Plug-ins

Plug-in Setup Download Comments
Text File Sorting *
Plug-in: Sort
Name filter: *.txt (or any other filter for files that you want to sort)
Application: c:\windows\system32\sort.exe (your system location may be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH (select Input File Path)
None needed This plug-in is useful when compared files represent unsorted lists (see this tutorial as one application of the Sort plug-in).
XML Canonicalization *
Plug-in: XML Canonicalize
Name filter: *.xml
Application: C:\Tools\XMLStarlet\xml.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: c14n $INPUTFILEPATH
XMLStarlet This plug-in converts an XML file into its canonical form, following the Canonical XML W3C Standard Recommendation. Canonicalization makes two XML files consistently structured, which helps to compare them. It's also recommended that you use the Format plugin (see below) along with this for hierarchical indentation of XML files.
HTML and XML Formatting *
Plug-in: HTML,XML Format
Name filter: *.htm,*.html,*.xml
Application: C:\Tools\Tidy\tidy.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: -i $INPUTFILEPATH
Tidy This plug-in "beautifies" an XML or HTML file by adding hierarchical indentation.
Adobe PDF to Text Conversion *
Plug-in: PDF to TXT
Name filter: *.pdf
Application: C:\Tools\Xpdf\pdftotext.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH $OUTPUTFILEPATH
Xpdf This plug-in converts a PDF file into text format. Note that some elements of PDF files, such as images, cannot be converted to text.
MS Word to Text Conversion *
Plug-in: DOC to TXT
Name filter: *.doc
Application: C:\Tools\catdoc\catdoc.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH
Success exit code: 0
catdoc This plug-in converts a DOC file into text format. Again, some elements of DOC files, such as images, cannot be converted to text.
MS Word to Text Conversion (alternative)
Plug-in: DOC to TXT
Name filter: *.doc
Application: C:\Program Files\GnuWin32\bin\wvWare.exe (your location may be different)
Arguments: -1 -x "C:\Program Files\GnuWin32\share\wv\wvText.xml" $INPUTFILEPATH
wvWare Another plug-in that converts a DOC file into text format.
MS Excel to CSV Conversion *
Plug-in: XLS to CSV
Name filter: *.xls
Application: c:\tools\catdoc\xls2csv.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH
Success exit code: 0
catdoc Converts an XLS file into comma-separated values format.
MS PowerPoint to Text Conversion *
Plug-in: PPT to TXT
Name filter: *.ppt
Application: C:\Tools\catdoc\catppt.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH
Success exit code: 0
catdoc Extracts readable text from a PowerPoint presentation.
Compare ZIP, RAR archives *
Plug-in: Unzip
Name filter: *.zip,*.jar,*.war,*.ear,*.har,*.xpi,*.7z,*.gz,*.gzip,*.tgz,*.bz2,*.bzip2,
*.tbz2,*.tbz,*.tar,*.lzma,*.rar,*.cab,*.arj,*.z,*.taz,*.cpio,*.lzh,*.lha
Application: C:\Tools\7-Zip\7z.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: x $INPUTFILEPATH -y -o$OUTPUTFILEPATH
7-Zip Allows comparison of ZIP, RAR and other archives. This plug-in requires ExamDiff Pro 3.4 or higher to compare two archives, and ExamDiff Pro 3.5 or higher to compare an archive to a directory.
Compare remote files by their URLs *
Plug-in: Fetch Remote File
Name filter: <default-remote-file> (<inline> in ExamDiff Pro 3.4)
Application: C:\Tools\Curl\curl-7.14.0\curl.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: -o $OUTPUTFILEPATH $INPUTFILEPATH
Success exit code: 0
cURL (select Win32 - Generic package) Allows comparing remote file over FTP, HTTP etc. by their URLs. This plug-in has to be specified as an inline plug-in (e.g. curl>ftp://server/file), and therefore requires ExamDiff 3.4 or higher. In ExamDiff Pro 3.5 or higher, you only have to write ftp://server/file as the file, as long as this plug-in is specified as your Default Remote File plug-in.
Compare remote directories by their URLs *
Plug-in: Fetch Remote Directory
Name filter: <default-remote-directory> (<inline> in ExamDiff Pro 3.4)
Application: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\cscript.exe (your system location may be different)
Arguments: C:\Tools\wget\wget.js C:\Tools\wget\wget.exe $INPUTFILEPATH $OUTPUTFILEPATH 0 (your location will be different). Set last parameter to 1 if you want to see wget console window so that you can track the progress of file downloads
wget and custom WSH script to run wget (save it into your wget folder). Allows comparing remote directories over HTTP, HTTPS and FTP by their URLs. This plug-in has to be specified as an inline plug-in (e.g. wget>ftp://server/dir), and therefore requires ExamDiff 3.4 or higher. In ExamDiff Pro 3.5 or higher, you only have to write ftp://server/dir as the directory, as long as this plug-in is specified as your Default Remote Direcotry plug-in.
Compare Windows executable files *
Plug-in: Dump PE32
Name filter: *.exe,*.dll
Application: c:\Tools\PESnoop\PESnoop.exe (your location may be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH /PE_ALL
Dump PE32 Allows comparing binary images (Windows executable files). For better results add "Dump of file" (without quotes) as a regular expression in Options | Compare | "Lines matching regular expression".
INI Sorting *
Plug-in: INI Sorter
Name filter: *.ini,*.reg
Application: c:\Tools\IniSorter\IniSorter.exe (your location may be different)
Arguments: /o $INPUTFILEPATH
Success exit code: 0
IniSorter Alphabetically sorts all sections and entries in each section, as well as separating sections with a blank line for clarity (courtesy of Flurmy).
Office 2007/2010 Document to Text Conversion *
Plug-in: OOXML to Text
Name filter: *.docx,*.docm,*.dotx,*.dotm,*.xlsx,*.xlsm,*.xltx,*.xltm, *.xlam,*.pptx,*.pptm,*.potx,*.potm,*.ppam,*.ppsx,*.ppsm
Application: c:\Tools\OOXML2Txt\OOXML2Txt.exe (your location may be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH $OUTPUTFILEPATH
Success exit code: 0
Office 2007/2010 Document to Text Convertor This plug-in converts an Office 2007/2010 document into text format. Unzip both files in the local folder that you'll be using in the Application parameter.
JSON Formatting *
Plug-in: JSON Format
Name filter: *.json
Application: C:\Tools\tidyjson\tidyjson.exe (your location will be different)
Arguments: $INPUTFILEPATH --mono
tidyjson This plug-in "beautifies" a JSON file through consistent indentation.