How to Compare Two Files in Notepad++

his guide empowers you to compare & conquer any file with Notepad++'s precision.

You have undoubtedly required to Compare Two Files in Notepad++, whether you work as a coder or are just a regular computer user. It is not advisable to go through the files by hand in order to find the discrepancies. By doing this, time that could be better spent elsewhere will just be wasted. Alternatively, and this is far worse, you can lose out on any noteworthy distinctions that exist between the two files.

Don’t worry, though. The details of comparing two files with Notepad++ your favorite text editor are covered in detail in this article. We will demonstrate how to diff two files in the event that you are dealing with a version control system, as well as how to compare two files both with and without a plugin. Now let’s get started.

What Is the Notepad Compare Plugin

Notepad++ has a cool plugin called Compare that helps you see the differences between two files. It’s handy for checking out changes in, let’s say, different versions of a programming file. When you use Compare in Notepad++, it looks at each line in the two files and marks them with symbols and colors to show what’s different:

  • Added (+): You’ll see a green plus sign. It’s for lines that are in the new file but not in the old one.
  • Deleted (-): This shows up as a red minus sign. It’s for lines that are in the old file but not in the new one.
  • Changed (≠): It’s marked with different colors like red and yellow. This one highlights lines that are similar but have some differences.
  • Moved: This points out lines that show up in both files but are in different places.

Why Compare Files in Notepad++ is Useful

  • Track modifications: Quickly pinpoint differences between document versions, code revisions, or configuration files.
  • Collaboration effectiveness: Ensure consistency and accuracy in collaborative projects where multiple people edit files.
  • Version control: Facilitate understanding of changes made over time, promoting efficient version management.
How to Compare Two Files in Notepad++
  • Pinpoint errors: Compare code files to locate bugs, syntax errors, or inconsistencies that might be causing issues.
  • Compare configuration files: Identify discrepancies in settings that could lead to unexpected behavior.
  • Narrow down problem areas: Streamline troubleshooting by focusing on specific code blocks or settings that differ.

How to Compare Two Files in Notepad++

Install Plugins Admin for Notepad++

Notepad++ Plugins Admin is like a collection of extra tools you can add to Notepad++ to do more things. You can use it to look through these extra tools and install ones like Compare for Notepad++. But here’s the catch: Plugins Admin doesn’t come automatically when you first get Notepad++. So, when you’re installing Notepad++, you have to remember to select Plugins Admin in the installation settings.

If you already have Notepad++ but didn’t get Plugins Admin, don’t worry. You can uninstall Notepad++ without losing your files. Then, just reinstall it and make sure to include Plugins Admin this time. That way, you can add those extra tools to Notepad++.

Install the Compare Plugin for Notepad++

  1. Go to GitHub and download the Compare plugin.
  2. Take out the file.
  3. Take a copy of the text. This will include a folder with two more files and a.dll file.
  4. Navigate to the installation folder of Notepad++.
  5. Unlock the Plugins directory.
  6. Make a new folder called ComparativePlugin. The name of the folder and the.dll file should match exactly.
  7. In the newly created folder, paste the files.

Compare Two Files in Notepad++

Launch Notepad++ and open the two files you wish to compare. Navigate to the Plugins menu, select Compare, and then choose the two files to compare. Now that the files are side by side, the Compare plugin will show the differences between them. By using Compare > Set as First to Compare, you can designate any open file as the reference.

Tips for Efficient File Comparison in Notepad++

  • To scroll through both files at the same time, go to View and click on “Synchronize Vertical Scrolling” and “Synchronize Horizontal Scrolling.”
  • To compare the files, go to Plugins, then Compare, and choose “Compare” or press Alt+D. This will show where the files are different.
  • Open the two files you want to compare.
  • Make a side-by-side view of the files by going to View, then Move/Clone Current Document, and select “Clone to Other View.”
  • To adjust how the files are compared, go to Settings, then Preferences, and click on Compare.
  • You can change how the differences are shown, like the colors used to highlight them, and set rules for ignoring certain things in specific file types.

FAQs

How can I tell the difference between two text files?

Use the diff command to compare text files. It can compare single files or the contents of directories. When the diff command is run on regular files, and when it compares text files in different directories, the diff command tells which lines must be changed in the files so that they match.

How do I compare two files in EditPlus?

Then, whenever you want to compare files from EditPlus, select Tools | Beyond Compare from the menu. Select any two files from the Select File dialog and click OK to open them in Beyond Compare.

What is the best way to compare two text files in Windows?

Open one of the two versions of the document that you want to compare. On the Tools menu, point to Track Changes, and then click Compare Documents. Note: If the Compare Documents option is not available, the document might be protected. To unprotect a protected document, on the Tools menu, click Unprotect Document.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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