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Suggestion - Menu item to allow comparison/merge using external apps (eg Office)

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  • Suggestion - Menu item to allow comparison/merge using external apps (eg Office)

    Hi guys

    Long time BC fan (must be nearly 5 years now) , but having used TortoiseSVN quite a bit of late, I'm finding it feels like there's a feature is missing...

    When looking at a folder comparison, and seeing Word documents with differences, I'd like to be able to right click a file and select
    • Compare using Word
    • Merge using Word

    Rather than invoking Word to convert a document to text and compare/merge the text, I want a one-click option to invoke word with the correct command line parameters to compare/merge everything in the doc.

    As well as Word, there are probably a handful of other formats for which this would be handy.

    TortoiseSVN does this nicely for MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint - and corresponding OpenOffice equivalents.

    I thought I might be able to add my own BC File Format definition for Word files, and leverage the same C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\Diff-Scripts.

    But as far as I can tell, this screen only supports custom conversion programs, not delegating the comparison/merge as a whole.

    Plus what I really want is the option to choose between convert-and-compare-text and just-use-Word-to-compare (ideally with an option to pick the default)

    Hoping this would be fairly easy to add

    (I searched for any similar threads, and although I didn't find any, I did see a couple with people asking about compare/merge with formatting for Word/PDF whom I think this would help...(I'm personally not sure what Acrobat offers though)... And if you think about it, there's probably a few more non-source-code users out there who like their formatting )

    One other minor tweak along similar lines - I miss the easy accessibility of "Open with Associated" menu item from BC2.

    I know I can instead go to the Explorer sub-menu, BUT:
    • the Explorer option is right at the bottom, and after hovering there, the Open item I'm looking for will typically be right back at the top, so I've increased my mouse miles by a factor of 6 or more.
    • between Explorer itself and the various Shell extensions (Tortoise, WinZip and Beyond Compare, among others) opening that sub-menu is noticeably slower...
    • populating the sub-menu breaks with URL locations such as SharePoint and presumably other http:// WebDAV locations. It may well be another Shell Extension returning the error code, but I suspect the Open with Associated would just work.

    Apart from that, thanks for the great product.


  • #2
    You can create your own "Open With" (Options dialog) with Associated App as the "Description" and cmd /q /c start "" "%f" as the "Command line".

    You can also create your own "Open With" to compare/merge using Microsoft Word. Let us know if you need help with this.
    Erik Scooter Software


    • #3
      Thanks for those tips Erik...

      Open With:
      Still more mouse miles, but the keyboard shortcut fixes that.

      Compare with Word:
      Brilliant... I'd looked there at the replaceable params (like %f), but hadn't opened the help file to see that you can also use %f1 and %f2 to get the left and right sides.

      To really get the behavior I'd like, it would be good to tweak the Accepts Files checkbox to actually allow specifying one or more file masks (eg *.doc;*.docx;*.dot etc) and only show the particular command (with it's likely unique command line switches and order) when the file mask matches... otherwise the Open With list could get pretty full of inapplicable commands...

      But even as it is, much better, thanks.

      Might I suggest you guys post this as a tip or config download amongst the Misc Downloads or Additional file formats?




      • #4

        Thanks for the suggestion about file masks for Open With. I'll added it to our wish list for a future version.

        For anyone else monitoring this thread, here's how to launch a file comparison in MS Word from BC3.

        In Tools > Options, go to Open With. Create a new entry named "MS Word" and use the following command line:

        "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE" "%f" "%f"

        Check "Accepts files".

        Once configured, select two .doc files and Select Actions > Open With > MS Word from the menu. This will open the files in MS Word.

        In Word, select Window > Compare Side by Side to compare the open documents.

        Word also has a Tools > Compare and Merge Documents command, but it looks like it only works on the current document, then has you browse for the other document.
        Chris K Scooter Software