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Directory Compare - General Options

Directory Compare Options dialog

Dialog Box Options

Recursive Comparison
Use these options to customize directory recursion behavior.
  • Handling of subdirectories
    Set the level of recursive comparison. Alternatively, you can use the Recursion drop-down toolbar button .
    • Do not compare subdirectories at all
      If this option is selected, ExamDiff Pro will not attempt to compare subdirectories.

    • Compare subdirectories only to determine their status
      If this option is selected, ExamDiff Pro will try to figure out whether contents of two subdirectories differ, and the subdirectories will be marked as identical or different.

    • Compare subdirectories recursively
      If this option is selected, ExamDiff Pro will compare files in subdirectories recursively.

  • Limit number of subdirectories in recursive comparison
    Use this option to set recursion limit.
Comparison precision
These options select what type of comparison of matching files should be performed.

You can also use the Full File Comparison toolbar button to switch between full file comparison and file metadata comparison.
  • Perform full file comparison
    If this option is selected, ExamDiff Pro will perform full file comparison (comparison based on file contents) on each pair of matching files. This type of file comparison is always slower but is ultimately accurate; also, it will use all file comparison options and plug-ins (if they are enabled for directory comparison).

  • Perform file metadata comparison
    If this option is selected, ExamDiff Pro will perform the selected tests below on each pair of files, in order, until it can conclude that the files are either identical or different.

    Note that enabling any of the "Consider" options below risks inaccuracies in comparison, because it is possible for two files to have identical attributes but still be different (though the likelihood of this is infinitesimal if CRCs are compared), and it is also possible for files to have different attributes but still be considered identical (for example, if white space is ignored).

    • Consider files with same size and timestamp identical
      Mark files as identical if their sizes and timestamps match exactly.

    • Consider files with same CRC identical
      Mark files as identical if their CRCs are the same.

    • Consider files with different sizes different
      Mark files as different if their sizes differ.

    • Consider files with different timestamps different
      Mark files as different if their modification times differ.

    • Consider files with different attributes different
      Mark files as different if any of their attributes (archive, hidden, read-only, system, etc.) differ.

    • Consider files with different CRCs different
      Mark files as different if their CRC32 values differ.

    • Consider files with different versions different
      Mark executable and DLL files as different if their file versions differ.
For faster comparison
These options will make directory comparison faster:
  • Do not calculate directory sizes
    If this option is not checked, ExamDiff Pro will recursively calculate the size of all files in each shown directory (for non-recursive subdirectory handling).

  • Do not calculate number of differences
    If this option is not checked, ExamDiff Pro will calculate the number of differences for each file and directory (if Status Only subdirectory handling is used). This calculation will be performed only if Perform full file comparison option is used, and it may significantly slow down directory comparison. For files, number of differing lines will be shown only for changed files.
Initial Sorting
This option specifies the initial sorting (by pane, column, and direction) of files in directory comparison. ExamDiff Pro uses these settings whenever directories are compared or re-compared.
  • Combine first and second directory sort results
    If this option is enabled, as it is by default, files appearing only in the unsorted directory are also sorted. If this option is disabled, only files that are in the sorted directory are sorted, with the remaining files appearing at the end in no specific order (or, more accurately, retaining the previous sort order for these items).

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