How to compare two files using Notepad ++

29.10.2015
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There is often a need to compare two text files. There are many different programs that specifically implement this function, but it is generally undesirable to use many different programs that are each tailored to process only one task. The free text editor Notepad ++, which is so useful every Windows computer should have it, will perfectly compare several files.

Notepad ++ can compare many file types, i.e. html, php and js. However, MS Word files cannot be correctly compared because their encoding is not suitable for this program.

Comparing two files using Notepad ++

Compare two files using Notepad ++ by first opening the files you want to compare.  Next, run the Compare plugin by going to the tab Plug-ins – Compare – Compare.

It is easy to add this plugin if it is not already installed in your copy of Notepad ++.  Go to Plugins – Plugin Manager – Show Plugin Manager. On the list of plugins, check Compare and click Install.  The program will need to restart before the plugin will work.

How to compare two files using Notepad ++

Open the documents you need to compare. Press the key combination Alt + D. Files will open in two tabs that clearly and conveniently highlight all the differences in the files. Differences in the contents will be highlighted in yellow, and the information added – with green. Notepad ++ automatically wraps lines.

How to compare two files using Notepad ++To exit Comparison Mode you need either to use the hot keys Ctrl + Alt + D or the tab Plugins – Compare – Clear Results.

I recommend activating the “Synchronize Vertical Scrolling” option when comparing documents. This allows simultaneous scrolling of both of the texts. Enabling synchronization and highlighted lines is a superb and effective solution for reading and comparing code.

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