Comparing files with BeeDiff

Synchronizing Changes

If you want to synchronize the differences between two files, you can do so directly in BeeDiff. The Operations | Remove all from left or Remove all from right function removes the inserted and deleted lines – the lines with red or blue backgrounds – from the left or right files, respectively.

Lines marked in green contain text passages that are unclear to BeeDiff because the software is unable to identify the details of the changes.

Instead of simply discarding the changes, you can select Operations | Merge all to left or Merge all to right. The function attempts to incorporate the changes to one file into the other file, but typically, some manual editing is needed.

Manually Accept Changes

BeeDiff also gives you the option of manually confirming or discarding each change. The arrow icon next to each tagged text position applies the modification to the other file, and an X next to each inserted or deleted line eliminates the whole line. After completing your changes, you can save the file by clicking the floppy disk icon.

Conclusions

BeeDiff is useful for comparing two files and visualizing the changes. Although it is primarily designed for programmers, BeeDiff is also helpful to other users. The ability to individually accept or discard changes is handy, and the fact that both windows are synchronized shows that the developers have considered production use. BeeDiff is still missing a function for re-comparing files at the press of a button after making changes. If you need to compare more complex documents, an office suite that supports version control and change tracking is probably a better choice.

The Author

Florian Effenberger has been an open source software evangelist for many years. He is the international Marketing Project Co-Lead and the Marketing contact for the German language versions of OpenOffice.org. Besides this, Florian focuses on designing and managing open source-based school networks.

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