CTRL + E
Spawn a dialog box to select files and directories to compare or merge.
File and Directory Comparison
When Compare Files or Compare Directories is selected at the top,
the Compare dialog uses the Compare layout:
This dialog box has many convenient features. The two combo boxes hold names
and paths of files and directories previously compared. You can drag-and-drop
files and directories from Windows Explorer into the dialog box making it much
easier to enter the appropriate paths and file names. You can also browse for
files and directories using the browse buttons.
The Compare dialog also has an Autopick feature: whenever you
choose a file (or directory) that you have compared before as the first
item to compare, the second item automatically changes to the last one
you compared the first item to. For example, if you compare test1 to
test2, then the next time you choose test1 as the first file, ExamDiff
Pro will remember and automatically switch the second file to test2.
If you don't specify one file's directory, ExamDiff Pro will use the other
file's directory to start a comparison. For example, selecting c:\test\a.txt
and b.txt will compare c:\test\a.txt with c:\test\b.txt. If
a directory name is provided instead of a file name, ExamDiff Pro will use the
other file name. E.g., you can select c:\test\a.txt and c:\test2
(where c:\test2 is a directory), and the software will compare
c:\test\a.txt with c:\test2\a.txt.
To delete a file/directory name from a list, highlight it and press Delete.
This feature also applies to all other combo-boxes within ExamDiff Pro.
When specifying a file or directory, you can use an environment variable, such
For file comparison, the current Clipboard contents can be selected by
using an appropriate button to the right from the file name text field.
This will make ExamDiff Pro compare a file against Clipboard contents, or
compare two Clipboard fragments (if you select a text fragment to Clipboard,
then press the first Clipboard button (or use Ctrl + 1 keys), then select
another text fragment, then press the second Clipboard button (or use Ctrl + 2
keys)). Also, browsing for a file in file comparison mode allows you to select
the encoding to open the file with (ANSI, Unicode (little or big endian), or UTF-8)),
as well as choosing a comparison plug-in that will be used
for the file during its comparison.
For directory comparison, a snapshot file, archive, or other file can be
specified instead of a real directory. Note that in order to compare files other
than snapshots against directories, a conversion plug-in is needed (the default
installation of ExamDiff Pro includes ZIP and JAR/WAR/EAR extracting plugins).
Note also that all directory editing features (delete, rename etc.) will be
disabled if at least one of compared directories is a snapshot.
File/directory names can be prefixed by plug-in names followed by >
separator (such plug-ins are referred to as inline plug-ins). The plug-in
name has to be one of those listed in Plug-in Options.
For example, assuming that Sort is the name of a plug-in, the following
name will cause the Sort plug-in to be used for file list.txt:
Sort>list.txt. Also note that when inline plug-ins are used,
file/directory names are not inspected for existence.
With comparison plug-ins installed, you can also type URLs
directly into the name combo boxes, such as http://www.server.com/file.asp,
ftp://ftp.server.com/test.txt or ftp://user:firstname.lastname@example.org:21/dir
When Merge Files is selected at the top, the Compare dialog uses the Merge layout:
In three-way merge, three files are compared - a base file and two revision files
("yours" and "theirs") that are both modifications of the base - and the goal is to reconcile
the changes made in the revision files into an output file. In addition to the left ("theirs"),
center ("base"), and right ("yours") files, an optional output file can be specified to store
the results of the merge operation. If no output file is specified, the output pane
will be populated with merge results that can be saved to a file.
Autopick works slightly differently in the Merge layout: if the left file has been merged before,
both the center file and the right file that it was last merged with are picked by default.
The Swap command swaps the Left and the Right files in the Merge layout.
Aside from these exceptions, the dialog functions similarly to how it does in the Compare layout.
Compare Dialog Commands
The following commands are available in the Compare dialog:
Compare selected files or directories.
selected files or directories.
Open ExamDiff Pro with empty text file panes (when the program is just
started), or close the dialog box without comparison (when the Compare
dialog is launched after a comparison). The former is useful to compare two
text fragments by either typing text or pasting it into ExamDiff Pro editable
Change comparison options. If sessions (see below) are used,
options saved will be applied to the selected session.
Swap files or directories selected for comparison.
Exit without comparison.
If the Show sessions option is disabled, the unnamed default
session will be used.
If the Show sessions option is enabled, the session combo box that
contains auto sessions becomes visible. The following session management commands
are available (when the arrow button on the right of the combo box is clicked;
for modified session the arrow becomes red):
- New Session
Create a new session, optionally by cloning an existing one.
- Save Session
Sessions are saved whenever the Compare button on the Compare Dialog
is used. Alternatively, you can use this command to save the current session without
comparison, and move on to modifying another session.
- Delete Session
Delete the selected session.
- Rename Session
Rename the selected session.
- Copy Session
Copy one session to another.
- Save Session to File
- Load Session From File
Load a session from a session file and set it as the current session.
Run in new instance option appears if a new comparison is started after a previous one is finished,
and it allows to start the new session in a new instance of ExamDiff Pro.