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WinDiff Help File Contents (windiff.hlp) in HTML format

windiff file and directory compare utility

WinDiff help file (windiff.hlp) contents

  1. Invoking Windiff from the command line
  2. File menu
  3. Edit Menu
  4. View menu
  5. Expand menu
  6. Expanded mode display
  7. Options menu
  8. Mark menu
  9. Zebra Stripes

For Help on Help, Press F1

Windiff compares directories or files showing the results graphically.
This is to DIFF as graphs are to columns of numbers.

Download Microsoft WinDiff

Filename : Windiff.zip
SHA256   : 95A2183D939FB888E517ACFDC06240CA7A21A9AF925D0404CCE7C86666A8E5B1

Invoking Windiff from the command line

To invoke windiff so that you can then use menus to define the comparison, just enter

Windiff

Command line flags

Anywhere in the command line you can include any of the following to modify the behaviour of windiff

Windiff can be invoked with one or two paths. The second path, defaults to the current directory. If both paths are (or are defaulted to) directories then it compares the whole directories. If one path is a file then it compares that file with a file of the same name in the other directory. If both paths are files then it compares the two files. The most common cases are as follows.

To compare a file in another directory with a file of the same name in this directory enter

Windiff path_to_other_file

To compare another whole directory with the current directory enter

Windiff path_to_other_directory

To compare two directories (including subdirectories) enter

Windiff path_to_first_directory path_to_second_directory

To compare two files

Windiff path_to_first_file path_to_second_file

File menu


Edit Menu

Edit left file invokes an editor (the default is notepad) on the left hand file. After editing the file is recompared.

Edit right file invokes an editor (the default is notepad) on the right hand file. After editing the file is recompared.

Edit composite file invokes an editor (the default is notepad) on a file which is constructed to be a composite of the two files. The first four columns of this file indicate the comparison status of each line. as follows:

Set editor allows you to select the editor of your choice by specifying a command line. The string "%p" will be replaced by the name of the file to be edited and the string "%l" will be replaced by the line number. The default is to invoke notepad with the line "notepad %p" If you use the slick editor you might want to use "s %p -#%l"


View menu


Expand menu


Expanded mode display

Colours

If Windiff was invoked as Windiff other_directory then red means the other_directory and yellow means the current directory.


Options menu

Ignore blanks causes white space characters (space, tab, newline) to be ignored in the expanded view, so that lines which differ only in white space are shjown as identical.

Mono colours uses colours suitable for a monochrome display.

The next four options control which files (if any) are displayed in outline mode.


Mark menu

Marks are used to allow particular files to be included or excluded from the comparison.

Mark file marks the selected file Mark pattern… leads to a dialog which allows you to specify a substring or a regular expression and
have all the files that match this pattern marked.

Thus to mark all files with extension "obj" the expression should be "\.obj$".

Hide marked files removes from the displayed list all the marked files (and any future file as it becomes marked)

Toggle mark state marks all unmarked files and unmarks all marked files. If you want to select the files that you wish to see, mark them, hide marked files (they will disappear) and toggle the mark state (they will reappear and the rest will disappear).


Zebra Stripes

After matching such parts of the file that it can match, Windiff looks at the remaining parts. Where there are sections which are different, but which correspond, in the sense that the part before and the part after match between the files, windiff has a choice between displaying the lines as blocks e.g.

previous line common to both files
first different line from first file
second different line from first file
first different line from second file
second different line from second file
following line common to both files
 
or interleaved. e.g.
 
common to both files
first different line from first file
first different line from second file
second different line from first file
second different line from second file
following line common to both files
 

Windiff uses a heuristic to judge whether the lines from the two files are similar or not. If it judges that they are similar it displays them interleaved, otherwise it displays them as blocks. The heuristic is quick to execute rather than sophisticated and slow. Sometimes one would wish that it had made the opposite choice.

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