CodeCompare Quickly Finds Changes Between Source Code Files


During SDLC, many a times developers need to check different versions of application being developed for changes to write a detailed revision report. Comparing two large code files is relatively difficult, as you need to dry run the code line-by-line to point out any missing statements, syntax error, and other code modules. We’ve featured many text file comparison tools in the past, such as, kDiff3, WinMerge, and Diffuse, but they all lack those hard core features which a software developer may require while doing code comparisons.

If you’re having a hard time comparing two code files manually and need a simple tool that can seamlessly automate the comparison process, try CodeCompare. It’s a dedicated application for performing in-depth comparisons between two code files. Be it ASP, PHP, Java or simple HTML code files, just drop them over and it will point out all the missing snippets within a few seconds. To make the comparison process more quick, it integrates with Windows shell right-click menu, so you can instantly open code files which are to be analyzed for changes. Despite being a powerful code comparison tool, it also allows you to merge two code files, compare two folders, perform lexical comparison, view code inline changes, and bookmark most significant parts of code file.

CodeCompare supports almost all the major programming languages, such as, Java, VB, C++, C #, HTML, XML, and so on. With syntax highlighting and code folding features, you can instantly pick major changes out from specified code files and view one specific part of code respectively. To start off, launch the application and drop two different versions of code file. Since it supports synchronous scrolling, start scrolling down the page to review both versions simultaneously. It automatically highlights the missing / changed part and links it with corresponding part of code file, as shown in screenshot below.

CodeCompare - index.php - index 2.php

To quickly jump between changes, use the forward-imaged button present at the bottom of each comparison windows.

next change 1

By default, it doesn’t ignore spaces, comments, and line breaks and shows them as a ‘change’ on main window. However, to ignore these elements, click Comparison option on toolbar, check required elements, and click OK to let it review the changes again. Here, you can also choose to select word case to ignore and comparison method – symbol by symbol, word by word, or line by line.

code comparisons 2

Furthermore, you can change the comparison window layout according to inserted code files. To change from vertical to horizontal layout, use the layout buttons present on the toolbar. Next to layout, there are some view modes present to change the way you view both code files.

CodeCompare - 3

From Tools –> Customize, you can bring up customization window to view all the available commands, enable / disable toolbars, and set other personalization options. Once you’ve reviewed all the changes, click Save all to save all the changes made in both documents. If you’re looking for more advance features like, code structure comparison, three way comparison and merge, and similar lines detection, you can update it to Pro version, which costs $ 49.95.

Download CodeCompare

  • Eurico Leite

    There is a plugin for Notepad++ called Compare that actually does the same as CodeCompare. While it doesn’t compare directories or anything “advanced,” it does a great job at file-to-file comparison.

    Even so I will try it out to see if it’s better or not.