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Can Beyond Compare 3 handle TextMaker?

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  • Can Beyond Compare 3 handle TextMaker?

    Hi. A while ago I switched from Microsoft Word to SoftMaker's TextMaker. TextMaker is very similar to Word, though somewhat less bloated (and less expensive). As part of my testing of Beyond Compare 3 (I had used Beyond Compare 2 several years ago, but never upgraded), I asked it to compare a file written in Word with an almost identical file in TextMaker. BC3 identified the main differences, but it seemed to have a problem with some punctuation in TextMaker. For example, instead of a left parenthesis, BC3 showed àð in TextMaker. Instead of a normal bold apostrophe, it showed a little square box, sort of like this º except square rather than round. Is BC3 unable to handle TextMaker? I haven't found any other program that misrepresented TextMaker punctuation.

  • #2
    Check the 3.2 beta first; we upgraded the built-in Word handling to fix support for extended characters and it may have helped with this. If that doesn't help send one of the problematic files to [email protected] and I'll look into it.
    Zoë P Scooter Software

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    • #3
      Thanks very much, Craig, for your quick and encouraging reply. Is the 3.2 beta stable enough for prime time? I generally don't mess with betas, but if it's almost set to be released, perhaps I will. Also, can I install it over the trial version of BC3?

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      • #4
        I should also add that the problem wasn't with BC3's handling of the Word punctuation--it did fine with that. The problem was with how it handled TextMaker's.

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        • #5
          The 3.2 beta is pretty stable. It just hasn't left beta yet because we have a few more features we want to roll out in a second beta release, and it's taken longer than we expected to get that second release out. So yes, you can just install it over your existing copy, and it should work fine.

          As for TextMaker vs Word, if TextMaker is producing .doc files that Word can read, it's probably just a limitation in our file reader, and we should be able to fix it.
          Zoë P Scooter Software

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          • #6
            Thanks, Craig. I guess I'll give the beta a try. And yes, TextMaker makes doc files that Word can read. I'll report back after I've had a chance to try out the beta.

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            • #7
              Hi, Craig. I've now had a chance to run the same test comparison using the 3.2 beta. I'm happy to say that the apostrophe now shows up as an apostrophe in both the Word and the TextMaker version. As for the parenthesis, it turns out that what was in the document was neither a parenthesis nor some strange àð but rather an arrow that may have been drawn originally using some special character map in Word. It didn't look like --> but more like a graphical arrow. So I suppose it's quite reasonable that Beyond Compare couldn't deal with it in a text comparison. When BC showed the Word version, it showed a left parenthesis instead of the arrow, whereas when it showed the version in TextMaker, it showed a little square box. Actually, I prefer the box, since that tells me right away that there's something strange there, whereas the parenthesis led me to assume incorrectly that there had been a parenthesis in the text.

              I haven't tried any other tests yet, but I'm very pleased that the apostrophe now looks normal in both versions and is no longer flagged as a difference.

              Thanks very much for suggesting that I try the beta. I'm now ready to buy the upgrade to version 3 (yes, I know, it's about time!)

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