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Beyond Compare

Beyond Compare Beyond Compare

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Beyond Compare Editor's Review

Keep key files and folders in sync with this handy Windows utility.

I've got data in multiple places, and want it that way. I need and want synchronized backups of important files and folders without the need to run any kind of TSR (terminate and stay resident) app.  This is one of the reasons why I really like applications like Beyond Compare. It’s a file sync utility for Windows.
Beyond Compare allows you to quickly and easily compare files and folders in one folder tree to another.  By using simple, powerful commands, you can focus on the differences you're interested in and ignore those outside your concern.  You can then merge the changes, synchronize your files, and generate reports for your records.

With Beyond Compare, you can compare entire drives and folders at high speed, checking just sizes and modified times; or you can thoroughly verify every file with byte-by-byte comparisons.  FTP sites and zip files are seamlessly integrated into compare activities, so you can update your website with the touch of a button.  Once you've found the specific files you're interested in, Beyond Compare can intelligently pick the best way to compare and display them.  Text files can be viewed and edited with syntax highlighting.  Comparison rules can be tweaked specifically for documents, source code, and HTML.  The text contents of a Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF files can also be compared; but not edited.  Data files, executables, binary data, and images all have dedicated viewers as well, so you always have a clear understanding of the changes.

Introduced in Beyond Compare 3.x, the app's new merge view allows you to combine changes from two versions of a file into a single file.  Its intelligent approach allows you to quickly accept most changes while carefully examining conflicts.  Color coding and section highlighting allow you to accept, reject, or combine changes, quickly and easily.  You can change any line in the output with the built-in syntax-highlighting editor.  By using Beyond Compare's powerful file type support and ability to favor changes from one file, you can trivially accept many changes without having to view all the details.

Pros: Three-way Merge, Syntax highlighting and editing

Cons: Pricey for a file comparison tool

Conclusion: Beyond Compare is an awesome utility. From an enterprise perspective, you can use it directly from most version control systems, giving configuration managers and development staff all of the powerful comparing and merging support they need when they need it most.  Integrated source control commands are also available, allowing them to check files in and out without interrupting their work.
As good as it is, many of the more advanced and eye catching features require the Pro version which carries a $20 USD premium over the standard $30 USD license.  While some may feel there is value to be had on a consumer level, the price may be a bit high for most.

Beyond Compare Publisher's Description

Beyond Compare is a directory compare utility and a file compare utility wrapped in one. Synchronize files between laptop and PC, home and office, etc. Compare directory trees side-by-side with mismatches highlighted. Display text files side-by-side with changes highlighted. Great for merging changes to source code. Supports minor editing, Unicode...

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System Utilities > File Managers
This product is also listed in: HardDisk Tools


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