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Searching for missing lines

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  • Searching for missing lines

    I'm a software tester and I use Beyond Compare to compare data files from systems. Comparing outbound interface files which are generated before and then after, system changes have been applied is a very powerful technique -one which few people in testing seem to do.

    Beyond Compare is brilliant for this and I recommend it to all of my client companies.

    Anyway here is my question:

    I'd like to search for lines that only appear in one file. I'm comparing a files that have around 4 million records. There are 17,000 lines with differences and one file has 65 records more than the other.

    Is it possible to search just for the lines that appear in one file? Because there are so many lines which are different, scrolling through the 'next difference' involves too many of the lines which have differences, before it is possible to find a missing line. Also because there are so many differences, the vertical bar on the left hand side is completely read, even though most of the records are identical. Extending the Search to provide for 'Next Missing line' would be very good for test data comparisons.


  • #2
    Hello John,

    BC3 does not have a method of searching for a line like this (comparing 1 file to every other file to determine any missing lines).

    The only workaround I can think of would be to create a single, large file of all other files appended together, then compare the original to the composite file (which, cannot include the original). Any orphans in the original would then not be in the composite or any or the files that created it.

    This process would then need to re-generate the composite for each other original file that needs to be compared.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      Here is the way to show only lines that are missing on one side:
      1. Pick View > Toolbars > Toggles.
      2. The display filters on your toolbar will switch to:
        • Toggle Same (2 black dots)
        • Toggle Left Orphans (1 teal dot)
        • Toggle Right Orphans (1 purple dot)
        • Toggle Differences (2 red dots)
      3. Uncheck all of them except for Toggle Left Orphans or Toggle Right Orphans depending on which side you wish to see.
      Erik Scooter Software


      • #4

        I would greatly appreciate it if you can share the steps to show only the lines that are missing on one side, using Beyond and Compare 4

        Thank you


        • #5

          For BC4, enable Toggles mode by right clicking the display filters in the toolbar and switch from Dropdown to Toggles. (Or in the Tools menu -> Options dialog, Toolbars/etc tab, Select View: display filters mode, Toggles).

          The remaining steps are then the same. Enable only the filters you want for a specific status, disable the others. You can also use the Edit menu -> Expand All, and Edit menu -> Select All Files, and Shift+ArrowKeys to slide the selection of only the shown files from one side to the other.
          Aaron P Scooter Software