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BOM (Byte Order Mark) ignored when comparing

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  • BOM (Byte Order Mark) ignored when comparing

    I was comparing two XML files in UTF-8 encoding, one starting with a BOM and the other not. Beyond Compare doesn't show this difference.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte_order_mark for more about what a BOM is.

    Is there a way (similar to the whitespace and line ending toggles) to display the presence of a BOM?

  • #2
    If the BOM is present, then BC3 will reports the file as UTF-8
    If the BOM is not present, then BC3 will reports the file as ANSI



    The only way that I know of to see the BOM is to open the files in a hex compare:

    BC v4.0.7 build 19761
    ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

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    • #3
      Also, if you perform a Compare Contents (=?) from a folder compare, be aware that you can ignore the encoding from there as well. Choosing a "Rules-based comparison" will compare the textual content of the files without regard to their encoding (the BOM will be ignored). Choosing a "Binary comparison" will treat it as a difference if there is a BOM in one file and not in the other.
      BC v4.0.7 build 19761
      ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

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      • #4
        In my case also the file without BOM is shown as UTF-8; in Text View, the file size is the only hint that the two files are not identical:


        In Hex view, of course the difference is clearly visible:


        I would like some easy to spot indicator that the files are not 100% identical without having to check in Hex view first. Preferably some statement in the status line summary, something like "same (filesize differs)" instead of just "same".

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        • #5
          I have suggested something similar in the past. Perhaps:

          = Same (with encoding difference)

          Or something like that...
          BC v4.0.7 build 19761
          ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

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