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compare all files with same name ?

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  • compare all files with same name ?

    Hi. I have two directories and need to compare all files therein with the same name. For example, dir A has files: file1.txt, file2.txt, file3.txt and dir B has files with the same name: file1.txt, file2.txt, file3.txt, etc. ...

    No I need to compare file1.txt with file1.txt (from the other dir), file2.txt with file2.txt and so forth ...

    What I currently do, is open a dir-compare-session and then click on each file to open file-compare-sessions one-by-one ... But this is quite a cumbersome task, especially if there are many dirs and they all hold 10-15 files...

    So is there a way, to to this automatically (i.e. open file-compare-sessions for all matching files in 2 dirs ?)

    Thank you.
    Last edited by boarders paradise; 21-Aug-2009, 04:48 PM.

  • #2
    Files in the same directory structure should align if their names match. So set Dir A as a base folder on the Left and dir B as the base folder on the Right.

    The default comparison for a Folder Compare is timestamp and size, but if you want to compare the contents go to the Session menu -> Session Settings, Comparison tab. Enable a Rules-based content comapre and leave enabled Override Quick Test results.

    This will fill in the middle column with the content results, as if you double clicked each pair of files.

    Let us know if you have any questions.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      Thank you for explaining this clever strategy. I followed your instructions all the way throught 'till "... will fill in the middle column with the content results", which I can confirm, but when you go on to say "as if you double clicked each pair of files", I can't follow you anymore ...

      ... all I see is a middle column with equal or unequal signs. And still only one tab open (the dir comparison tab). This is NOT the same "as if you double clicked each pair of files", because when clicking on each pair of file, a new tab opens for each pair, showing the differences in detail.

      The first part of your workflow is really something very useful, but I would need all compaired file paris to open in new tabs automatically, showing the detailed results. Can your program achieve this ?

      Thanks so much for your caring support.


      • #4
        I'll clarify my statement:

        If you left the default values (timestamp and size), then double click on the files you are brought to a new file view (usually the Text Compare). This shows if the contents are the same or different. If you close this new tab/window and go back to the Folder Compare, you will notice that the center column has an equal or unequal sign to show what the file view returned. This only appears for files (the center column does not populate for folders).

        By running the Rules-based compare, it is similar to viewing each file individually, then closing it and returning to the Folder Compare view. It uses the default rules and session settings to determine if the text content is equal.

        If you need to view the differences themselves, you can generate a report. Either generate a Folder Compare report under the sesison menu for an overall summary, or select specific files and generate a File Compare Report under the Actions menu.
        Aaron P Scooter Software


        • #5
          Feature suggestion

          Okay, thank you, I see what you mean now.

          In this case I would like to redefine this as a "feature suggestion" thread.

          The folder comparison possibilities are very powerful. But what the - otherwise incredibly excellent program - is lacking, in my humble opinion, is a better assistence for users who want to *review* differences in detail on a regular basis.

          Currently this type of user can only (if I understand correctly):

          (1) Double-click on each pair of files in a folder (cumbersome and you also have to be careful, that you don't miss any files while clicking).

          (2) Use "file compare report" ... but this involves quite a few steps (thus takes long), and besides, it only features text comparison from what I can see ... (obviously not image comparison or mp3 comparison)

          Here is the point where my idea would come in ....

          I suggest a new checkbox in [session >> session settings >> comparison] entitled "automatically open file pairs in new tabs for reviewing" and maybe a two sub-checkboxes entitled "files with differences only" and "ignore unimportant differences" (which would be grayed out where necessary, as they depend on each other).

          (Following the philosophy of your program, this can obviously be session-only settings or permanent ones.)

          There should probably be a pop-up warning if too many tabs would be opened automatically (this limit could be configurable or hard-coded, and could have a "don't ask me again" checkbox).

          At first glance, maybe you think that this feature is too specific or not useful enough. But I am convinced, that a considerable percentage of the non-casual users would see an enormous step forward in this feature.

          Think about it: There are folks who just want to see which files are different in a folder (for syncing, etc.). But for all the rest of us who are interested in SEEING the actual differences, we have to open file-comparison-tabs for each pair anyway... Not much of a deal, for one folder. But I am looking through hundreds with 10-15 files each, and believe me, each time I click on a file pair to review the diffs, I keep asking myself "now why can't the program do this for me ..." ... repetitive and no-brainer tasks should be easily automatable by an effective program.

          The field of application is very broad, ranging from
          • simple reviewing purposes to
          • making informed decisions about which files to delete from sets of duplicates ...
          • ... or different history versions of text docs; and to
          • sifting through your photo collection (image comparison) or
          • music collection (mp3 comparison)
          • etc.

          The possibilities are endless ...
          (plus from a coding perspective, it wouldn't be much work to implement I guess.)

          Once a user starts using your program more often, this feature would enormously accelerate the user's workflow (the only thing left to do for the user is click CTRL+W to close the tabs).

          Let me give an example for the time calculation: If you want to view the diffs, you must double-click a pair, bring the focus from the opening tab back to the folder comparison tab, visually find the pair where you had left of before and double-click on the next pair in the list. Depending on your reflexes and your finger dexterousness, this can take 2-5 seconds for each pair. Now, let's assume, you are a non-casual user who faces 100 folders with approx. 15 files each. On a 3-seconds basis, this would take you 75 minutes. Imagine yourself doing double-clicks for 75 minutes ... (and this is only the time the user needs to open the tabs! not for reviewing them).

          I have a 4-year-old computer, which is quite slow, but the tabs open almost instantaneously, so if I didn't have to add the time to open all the tabs manually, the 75 minutes would probably be reduced somewhere down to not even 2 minutes I would think ...

          Kind regards.
          Last edited by boarders paradise; 21-Aug-2009, 08:13 PM.


          • #6
            PS: Can I update the thread title to mark this as a RFE ?


            • #7
              Have you tried using the Goto Next Different Files command (Ctrl+M)? You really don't need to open each pair of files in tabs individually. Just open the top pair and use that to go down the list.
              Zoë P Scooter Software


              • #8
                Perfect !!! I'm so glad to see this!

                With this approach, I agree that opening multiple tabs is entirely useless, as this solution is much better!

                There's just one thing, that is still a problem for me ... I want to review all files, not just those with differences.

                So is there something like a "Goto next file" command (as the logical little brother of "goto next different file") ?
                And if not, would you accept this feature request ?


                • #9

                  If you have a rules-based comparison enabled in the folder compare, then the file contents will be equal when viewed in the Text Compare (or other associated file viewer session type). Did you want to verify file contents even if they are known to match? Could you go into a bit more detail about your specific workflow?
                  Aaron P Scooter Software


                  • #10
                    Hi Aaron, thanks for getting back to me. Yes, the idea would be to view "the file contents even if they are known to match", yes. For some of my tasks, the workflow is like this:
                    (1) compare folders with rule-based comparison, and then
                    (2) review the results in detail, i.e. go through one the pairs of files one after another (view file content if they are matching and examine the differences if they are not matching).

                    So if the user only wants to view files with differences, the "goto next different file" is the perfect tool. But for users who want to review all files of the folder comparison, a "goto next file" command would be the needed thing ...


                    • #11
                      Thanks boarders,

                      I've added this to our Customer Wishlist. Our wishlist is not a scheduled development list, but a place our developers go for ideas and enhancements.
                      Aaron P Scooter Software


                      • #12
                        Thank you Aaron,
                        not only have you an outstanding program, but you are also the only software company that really is in touch with customers. I think the latter leads to the former.
                        Kind regards, Aurélie.


                        • #13
                          Try a report

                          Have you tried the file differences report? It shows you all of the files in one long report.
                          I like using it better than CTRL+M. I usually tell it to display just those files that have differences in content and then report on just that set of files.