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This free utility compares two text files for differences. It is easy to use, and configurable to use different fonts, or a text editor of your choice if you want to use something better than Notepad.

On starting the program, the compare dialog opens where one can select two files to be compared. This remembers the last pair of files used, so if it’s a long job one can resume later with a minimum of effort.

The Options can be changed from this dialog, or later after the file comparison has been performed.

Comparing files is extremely fast, even with my large Unicode data files which are more than 27,000 lines.

After performing the comparison, the two files are shown in vertically tiled windows, highlighting the differences between the two files, line by line. The screen shot below shows the changes remaining after editing UnicodeData.txt, which I wanted to update for Unicode 7.0. Many lines of text had been added since the previous version, but I wanted to keep the changes that I had made to the previous version to customise my version of FontCreator. ExamDiff made this tedious task extremely easy.

ExamDiff OptionsI changed the default font from Courier to Verdana, which is much more legible, and increased the size to 18 point. The colours can be changed too, but I left them at the default settings.

Not being very comfortable with hexadecimal code-points, I left the line numbers displayed.

I made no changes to the default options for white space or Ignore case.

The default text editor is Notepad. I changed this to Notepad2 which can display line numbers so it was easier to find my place while editing.

I left all other miscellaneous options unchanged, and ran the application in a maximised window. In the screen shot above the application is shown in a window so that it fits this web page.

My Workflow

  1. Initially, I showed the differences only (shortcut Ctrl D).
  2. On finding a difference in the more recent file I selected that line and showed the whole of both files (Ctrl D).
  3. I selected the changed line or lines in UnicodeData7.txt and copied them to the clipboard (Ctrl C)
  4. I then right-clicked on the old file on the left, UnicodeData.txt, and selected View/Edit (shortcut Ctrl F1).
  5. I scrolled down or searched to find the right line, and pasted the new lines.
  6. After repeating this process several times I saved UnicodeData.txt and closed Notepad2.
  7. ExamDiff then advised me that the source file had changed, and asked if I wished to compare the two files again, which I did.
  8. I then showed the differences only (Ctrl D), and repeated the above process until the job was done.

License Conditions

You are permitted to use this program freely. You, however, are not permitted to decompile this program or use it as a portion of any other application.

You are permitted to freely distribute this program and its associated files provided that (1) You do not charge a fee for its distribution, (2) you do not include it as a part of a commercial offering, and (3) you do distribute all accompanying files together. If you wish to include ExamDiff as a part of a commercial offering, written permission from the author is required.

Deviations of the above are considered a breach of the copyright on this application.

Page last updated on 14 August 2022