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Compare It! displays two files side-by-side, highlighting the differences between them in various colors - with special support for coding languages and XML!

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What are people saying about Compare It!

Jim J.
I hope this program is a very smart one that can look ahead a great distance.  Many file comparison programs fail because they are not very intelligent, if not outright dumb.

For example

File A:
File B:

If A and B are large, many file comparison programs simply fail or give up, because they do not or cannot look far ahead enough.

How does this program fare in such situations?

May 17 2010 at 7:48pm Copy Link
Igor Green I would encourage you to try it in your cases. CompareIt! uses a several different approaches, depending on file contents, and if section C is more or less unique, it should be able to match it regardless of beginning part length.
Grig Software - May 17 2010 at 8:28pm Copy Link
Chaim Krause Is this for version 3 or version 4 of the software? I ask because version 4 has been out for a while but the picture shows version 3.
May 18 2010 at 5:03am Copy Link
Igor Green That's for latest version, of course. As for picture, you are absolutely right, I just never realized that :) I will try to update it.
Grig Software - May 18 2010 at 5:30am Copy Link
Chaim Krause Excellent news. I have a version 3 bundle. I have been waiting for a version 4 bundle to upgrade, but it seems that may be a while off, so I am going to take advantage of this offer and get my Compare It! license updated to version 4. I am very pleased with both Compare It! and Synchronize It!.
May 18 2010 at 5:36am Copy Link
Mike B I hate to be greedy, but I was wondering if this deal might be applied to the Compare It!/Synchronize It! bundle?
May 18 2010 at 8:06am Copy Link
Igor Green I'm afraid originally it was planned for CompareIt alone, and BDJ guys would not allow this. Maybe next time, if this action will show itself good enough?
Grig Software - May 18 2010 at 8:19am Copy Link
Mitch Kite So, does this compare Word documents too?
May 18 2010 at 9:54am Copy Link
Keith User I bought a Compare It! license and have been very pleased with the software. I use it often in my work as a programmer. I recommend it.
May 21 2010 at 2:27am Copy Link
Igor Green Thank you, Keith! I would also like to point everybody attention to explorer shell menu update, which support Window7 32 and 64b. You can get it here - . In fact I should have updated installer with this version, but I haven't, shame on me!
Grig Software - May 21 2010 at 2:36am Copy Link
Michael R I was quite curious about the way your software compares images. As it seems it just displays two images. So the user has to compare them himself...

Being no graphic-expert, I would use this image-comparison to check, e.g. how good a compression algorithm works. So I would like to compare an original-picture with a compressed one. In my imagination a comparision tool would show me for each pixel how much these differ from another. Perhaps this could be done by showing a third area between the first and the second picture, which contains the difference-colors. E.g. if the two images are equal in a pixel, the appropriate pixel could be white, if they differ completely it could be black, the more they have the same color, the brighter the comparison-pixel would be. In this example the better the compression algorithm would work, the brighter the comparison-picture would be. As said, I'm no graphic expert, but that was the idea/hope when I read you allow also to compare images.

But perhaps you will add some features to this image-comparison tool... So, can I hope?
May 21 2010 at 6:42am Copy Link
Igor Green Michael, yes, absolutely! I'm going to implement actual image comparison. Current implementation is just a placeholder for future.
Grig Software - May 21 2010 at 8:13am Copy Link
Stefan Hauber On win7-x64, it seems that, when installing CompareIt! 4.1 with this ShellExtention, the 'Run as administrator' context-menu does not work anymore. When using a google-research for this behaviour I found out, there were some hits for this problem (for Vista). Has herefore a solution found? Does it work under win7 too?

Beside that it's a very nice program with many useful features...
Nov 8 2010 at 1:27pm Copy Link
Igor Green You are right, there is updated shell ext to fix this issue - I'm planning to release updated final version with it this weekend to fit with new BDJ sale.
Grig Software - Nov 9 2010 at 6:49am Copy Link
Chaim Krause It seems you have again posted the version 3 picture. I assume this is for version 4.
Nov 10 2010 at 11:29pm Copy Link
Tore Hoyem Hi.
Can someone comment on how well it compares 'formatted documents' such as MS Word?

To clarify what I mean:
If I run a comparison on 2 versions of a lengthy (say 100 pages) Word document, and Compare It spots a difference in the middle, how easy will it be to find the same spot inside the actual Word document?
Nov 14 2010 at 12:11am Copy Link
Igor Green Tore,
CompareIt extracts text from office documents for comparison, so there is no connection between line numbers and actual page\position of this text in original document. This does actually makes editing docs using comparison information a bit complex, but in most documents this is not so hard.
Grig Software - Nov 14 2010 at 12:44am Copy Link
Michael R. At your last BDJ-offer from may, I asked about comparing images:

I was quite curious about the way your software compares images....

I just saw there is a new version out. Did image-comparing improve in this new version?
Nov 14 2010 at 4:06pm Copy Link
Igor Green No, sorry, this module was not updated yet.
Grig Software - Nov 14 2010 at 7:31pm Copy Link
Keith User I have been using CompareIt! for years now and found it to be very much worth the registration price. I highly recommend it.
Nov 15 2010 at 12:19am Copy Link
J L Hello,
Is there any way to buy the lifetime upgrade for a discounted price?
Nov 15 2010 at 12:29am Copy Link
Jo Holloway
Nov 15 2010 at 12:50am Copy Link
Igor Green This is for version 4, but key should work with v3 too, if you for any reason are using it. As for lifetime updates - no, currently tghis option is not available.
Grig Software - Nov 15 2010 at 12:59am Copy Link
Jaap Aap Is this still being actively developed?
Sep 10 2011 at 12:10am Copy Link
Patrick J. The current release version seems to be nearly one year old (November 2010)
Sep 10 2011 at 7:02am Copy Link
Brenda Adams I own several comparison programs. I (and several friends, too) use Compare It! daily because, for us, and the application we use it with, it seems to have all the features we need. I'm saying, it might only be for our type uses that it seems so good... I don't know. But I'm guessing that at this price, it's a real bargain for all.

For our use, we mostly use the document compare feature. A friend has built a program that transforms text into tagged text, ready for import into our recipe software. His program corrects text, replaces text, adds text, tags text, general edits of all kinds and so, we needed a comparison that would easily show us full views of Before and After and highlight small differences as well wrap lines so that we don't have to fight viewing/scrolling to right. We needed bookmarks, and etc.

One thing I do, I edit the After copy right there inside Compare It window and I love how Compare It inserts a mark out in the margin wherever I have manually inserted a change... Just thought I'd mention.

It's little things...and there are more of them that I'm not recalling at the moment, but there is lots to like. :)
Sep 10 2011 at 9:16am Copy Link
SoftCollector A great program! I bought it back in December 2010 (a Compare It! + Synchronize It! bundle), having extensively tested all file compare utilities on the market at the time.

Compare It! was - and still is - among the best. It is well-developed, convenient to use and quite configurable. It has never crashed on me, or left me wanting.

I am mostly using it to compare Office files and it works great. As I use Bulgarian with it (Unicode / Cyrillic) it does need some tuning up to get the best results, so simplification and automation regarding the above scenario could be a benefit.

The second thing that I would change is the number of new builds/versions released. At times I have thought that it has been abandoned.

It is great to see here that Compare It! leaves on, because - as far as I am concerned - it is among the very best, available on the market at what it does: comparing different versions of files and creating (at your request) an exported HTML report of the differences, to send to your clients / collaborators.

Way to go, Igor!

Kind regards,
Sep 10 2011 at 10:55am Copy Link
Igor Green Hello,
Thank you for interest!
You are right, currently development is a bit slow, and last release was a year ago. But I'm still happy to support it and hope to continue development in near future.
Grig Software - Sep 10 2011 at 11:06am Copy Link
Charlotte Sinclaire Do the documents being compared have to have identical names? I.e., can I compare two documents that are essentially the same (e.g., two versions of the same short story) but which do have some editorial differences and a slightly different file name, and still get a reasonable results?
Sep 10 2011 at 12:11pm Copy Link
Jaap Aap Thanks Igor - BTW, I am a happy user of the current version...
Sep 10 2011 at 5:26pm Copy Link
Charlotte Sinclaire I realize my previous question was pretty much asking if the program does what it obviously does. Sorry. Don't know what I was thinking, exactly.
Sep 10 2011 at 6:08pm Copy Link
Brenda Adams Charlotte,
When you want to compare documents (which is what I mostly do), you can select whatever docs you want, different names, etc., as you have guessed.
I have purchased so many comparison programs, and trialed others. I have actually developed an interest, as a result, in seeing what each of them offers. Some iare over-my-head technical, but I never found plain old everyday features that I need to have. I've even written to developers and been told that such and such is on their wish list...or that they may do that some day or that there is no current plan to do such, etc. Plain stuff like offer the ability to BOOKMARK (mark the places you might want to come back to...mark spots in document to return to later) or even shorten the lines so you can see the entire text on the screen at once time--no scrolling sideways. Some have very odd ways of comparing things...hard to get things lined up side by side, and other irritants....FIGHT ME FIGHT ME is what some of them say to me.
Compare It! is the least 'fight me' and yet the most fully featured, I believe and it's a steal at under ten bucks. I suggest you load the trial and play with it a bit. Notice how you can use it in your Windows Explorer (or any replacement thereof, e.g. XYplorer or xplorer2 are my two absolute favorites!!). You highlight a document, right-click and you will see that you can make your document selections right there whilst browsing your document lists. Couldn't be more convenient. (Course, most good comparison programs offer that feature. OR you can drag and drop documents into the Compare It open window, etc.) LOTS of good stuff...that you truly only can appreciate after using it (and maybe trying a few others).
Sep 12 2011 at 12:46am Copy Link
Preston Mitchell Yoo SoftCollector -- Question Please

I bought DeltaWalker a couple of days ago. I believe you posted on the Delta offering...and even mentioned Compare It.

I never used Compare It before...and I have not really learned DeltaWalker yet. So, let me ask you. How do those two software compare to each other? Is Compare It pretty similar to DeltaWalker?

Some advice on Sync software, pls? Prior to joining the Win 7 world, I always used the XP PowerToy SyncToy. It was free and was adequate for light weight syncing. I now need a heavy duty sync app that works on Win 7 64 bit. Any recommendations, pls?
Sep 12 2011 at 1:05am Copy Link
Igor Green Preston, I have not checked DeltaWalker closely yet. But it runs on all major platforms, which is good.
Grig Software - Sep 12 2011 at 12:29pm Copy Link
John Terdik Can I use it to compare Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF files? I just downloaded and attempted to compare two PowerPoint files and did not get the results I expected. I expected to see the two files in PowerPoint view not the code view.
Sep 12 2011 at 12:50pm Copy Link
Igor Green John Terdik, Word\Excel\Pdf files are partially supported - Compare It extracts text from these files and tries to compare it. Powerpoint files are not supported.
Grig Software - Sep 12 2011 at 12:58pm Copy Link
SoftCollector @Preston Mitchell

Dear Preston,

Thank you for your question. I have owned Compare It! for a long time now and have been using it when I need to compare Office files. I have only come across DeltaWalker recently.

1. Compare It! strikes me as a software that has been around longer and has been polished for a long time. The recommendations I made for DW were based on Compare It! experiences: bigger buttons, the starting wizard - all nice features. All in all, at this point Compare It! has the advantage of the software with the longer lifespan (historically).

2. It is very configurable (DW - not as much), which also has a downside. I am comparing mostly versions of Office files and I have found it difficult to set up Compare It! to properly treat empty lines, split lines, etc., and every time I reinstall it, I am trying to figure out the correct options. Probably it is just me.

3. As a file-comparing software Compare It! (depending on file format) can be considered more polished and with better in-depth features (excluding the three-way comparison capability of DW).

4. Compare It! is much, much cheaper.

1. DW has a three pane compare window which is unique and cannot be found in Compare It! That said, you may never need to compare three versions of a file, but it is nice to have the feature in case you may need it some day.

2. DW seems to handle Unicode and Cyrillic without the need to download a special Unicode version (as is the case with Compare It!), or extensive configuring. It has been created by a team of Bulgarians (a Cyrillic language), so that is only natural. For me personally correct handling of Cyrillic is a must, but that may be irrelevant for other users.

3. Apart from being a file-comparison software, DW also has folder-comparing functionality. This functionality may be basic (when compared to script-running forerunners like ViceVersa), but it is there for you to use, when you need to. [Igor has developed his own software title called Synchronize It!, and which works great - visit the Grig Software site to try it!]

4. And finally, DW seems robust and development is in full swing. With Compare It! I have often wondered if it is still developed.

Igor has been nice to come forward and confirm it on this site, although to me his dedication to develop it still seems a little vague. The Policy here reads: "Free upgrades for 12 months, paid upgrade with discounts to future versions for all purchasers.", but sometimes updates come in periods longer than 12 months, so you may be buying a single build of the software for the above mentioned price. That said Igor has always been very flexible and nice in communication and I am sure that all reasonable requests will be met.

I would not like to pick one over the other. As Compare It! is being offered here, I will say this: you cannot go wrong with Compare It! and at $9.57 it is so hugely under-priced that it is simply a steal! I really have a soft spot for it!

Kind regards,
Sep 12 2011 at 1:11pm Copy Link
F F Hi Igor and SC,
at under 10 dollars, CI seems indeed to be a steal, and I greatly appreciate the comparison with DW (which I didn't know) - there is another comparison program offering 3-panes/files comparing, but that costs 200 or 300 dollars, if anybody is interested, I'll search for its name.

CI being a steal, I have ceased to buy cheap / even download free programs if they ain't that good, and I've been willing to pay good prices for good programs, it's just that my time has become valuable also for me, not even dollars.

Thus, could we have a comparison with Beyond Compare ? From all those "normal" (= not totally overpriced) comparison programs, BC seems to be the best, and I tried it for some weeks, and I am considering buying it, even when its price is a nifty 50 dollars (= for prof. version), and it's never cheaper than that (= it had been here but only once, in an early version, and then never again...).

In which way CI is better than BY, or more practical, or more easy to use, or more powerful, then ? Of course, Igor couldn't compare CI with all similar programs around, but since BC is some kind of an "industry standard" if there is any, in these programs - most reviewers prefer it over any other program of that kind as I see it - perhaps there happen to be some comparison bits indeed : could you share them, if there are any ?

Thanks a lot for any reply.

BTW, I just checked, the other 3-way merge program is Araxis Merge Prof., for 199 dollars, it has even some automatic merge function ; I've tried it some time ago, and found it automatic merge function a little bit under-developed (= could be extremely handy if realized much better than there), and paying 200 dollars for 3-way merge was unnecessary in my case since I don't have a usage scenario for that.

That being said, would be really nice to have some insight into CI vs. BC. (I just haven't got the time to put the 3 necessary hours into it by doing it myself.)
Sep 12 2011 at 2:47pm Copy Link
John Terdik I use Beyond Compare mainly for folder compares and find it to be SUPER valuable for me. I currently have about 14TB of storage and I'm always moving stuff around and the folder compare is a must for me. I've tried using the file compare but for me it is too limiting only because I want it to work with the native application (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) I don't want to work at the text level but I can well understand the problems of working at the application level and would not expect anybody to offer such in the near future but I can wish..

Text files can be viewed and edited with syntax highlighting and comparison rules tweaked specifically for documents, source code, and HTML. The text contents of Microsoft Word .doc and Adobe .pdf files can also be compared but not edited. Data files, executables, binary data, and images all have dedicated viewers as well, so you always have a clear view of the changes.
Sep 12 2011 at 9:50pm Copy Link
F F 1 )

Oups, I weren't out for having BC touted even more, it seems even better than I knew of, I had been very pleased by its text compare indeed (but wasn't fond of it look and feel) and do folder comparing with... well, FreeCommander (I've thoroughly tried about 10 file commanders, and their quirks bother me so much that I use FC for general use and XnView for pics (here, the same, I tried even more than 10 pic viewers, and was willing to pay for anything better but didn't find it).

Thus, thank you very much, John, for this insight, from my personal standing point - will probably buy BC, then -, but this site is offering CI, not BC today, so it's up to Igor or anybody to tell us, in which way CI is better than BC, let's say in that regular text files compare use (= blank lines, minor differences - can they be (easily and freely = very important !) be set up, e.g.), since we want reasons to buy CI, not for switching elsewhere, here and today ! ;-)

2 )

I think the most important feature in practical use for such a program is, setting up "minor" differences that will NOT be shown as "differences" (and it would be helpful to store those sets of "non-differences", for further use, for comparing those or similar files on a regular basis, whereas you'd have other sets, also stored, of "non-differences", for other bunches of files = this possible storage also being very important), perhaps somebody could develop on this with regards to CI.

For data mining and many other uses, such "don't consider as a difference" functions, and that should be totally customizable (and storable, as said), are invaluable, and it was precisely in BC where I wasn't that happy with those, so there's a real chance for CI here ! ;-)

3 )

BTW, there doesn't seem to be any such a program being able to treat as a non-difference identical paragraphs, and / or just lines, that have been switched, be it


and then


or even just in the form


Every such a program (= even the 200 dollars Araxis) pretends the texts are "different" then even when you don't want it to consider them different in such cases.
Sep 13 2011 at 2:20am Copy Link
F F And another consideration : In BC, I find it "difficult" - not y, anyway -, to "import" the two files to compare together, into the program - BC lacks a handy feature - shortcut - to press in any other program in order to import that current file into one of its comparison panes, so there isn't any such access to its function when in any other program (or I didn't find that, but I really tried to find) - whereas many other programs DO have such access functionality even from within other programs, e.g. screenshot programs, outliners / clippings collectors, etc.

Thus, with BC, I have to juggle with two times' control-a, control-c, Alt-F4 for accessing BC, then I have to determine left pane or right pane, then mouseclick there, control-v, Alt-F4 again to go back to the source program, and all the way back for the second file to compare.

That's the real reason I didn't buy BC yet, so there's another chance again for CI ;-)

...if it's better here than CI, and perhaps other would-be buyers could mention other criteria in which those programs should be compared before buying of them.
Sep 13 2011 at 2:34am Copy Link
F F (I wanted to say, "In BC, I find it "difficult" - not handy, anyway...")

Please allow for claryfying : A comparison program should have a function, functioning in any other program, by a freely assignable shortcut, let's say shift-control-F12 or any other of your choice, doing :

"Import selection to CI (= in our case here) for comparison".

If in CI there isn't any file yet (= after opening the program), the file would be imported into pane 1.

If there is one file in pane 1, the new file would be imported into pane 2.

If there are files in both panes, a little dialogue would pop up, asking for "Replace file 1 or file 2 ?"

And as said before, BC does not seem to have anything in this regard, which makes its use - if you intend to use it on a regular basis, not just here and then - really a pain in you-know-where.
Sep 13 2011 at 2:46am Copy Link
Preston Mitchell SoftCollector: Thank You Very Much...

I appreciate your thorough answer to my questions. Very well done, sir.
Sep 13 2011 at 4:52am Copy Link
jboothco F F, I think I understand you when you talk about using BC to compare 2 files from inside of another program. Yes, BC does this perfectly. If BC is run with the two files provided as parameters, they will be compared immediately when BC starts. If you find the place in a program to configure it to use an external compare program, you would enter something like C:\Program Files\Beyond Compare 3\BComp.exe "%s" "%s" (the parameters might be expressed differently). I use this from within my source code version control system to compare an existing file with a previous version.

I've used BC for many years for both files and directories.

That said, I may just give CI a trial. It does have some nice features touted that BC does not.

Igor, I hope you consider adding folder compare using the typical directory tree structure that BC has.
Sep 13 2011 at 9:38am Copy Link
Garry Camps does this find duplicate mp3's or other music ?
Sep 13 2011 at 10:52am Copy Link
F F John Booth, thank you very much for this hint at BC's command line usage, in fact for many programs, that's a very good way to use them.

I see that and why my problem is different, here : In fact, I do NOT use many different text files, but import such files as items in an outliner program (UltraRecall, one of the best and regular offerings here), dispending then of the original text files whenever possible, or not even creating them (= directly importing "snippets" = often, whole laws, with millions of characters) into an UR item.

Hence you understand why I'm speaking of a function "import SELECTION into BC / CI / whatever as a comparison program", since in UR, I'd do a selection, in the case of a law, with control-a, control-c, and then that selection must go to the comparison program, and in the same way, another selection, from another UR item ; this way, I can compare ancient law versions to more recent ones, or do other data mining processing.

Since I didn't buy any compare software yet, you see that I'm at the beginning of these tasks, but I must find a good compare program indeed, and soon - will have another look at Araxis, which at such a price MUST have better functionality with this.

Igor's silence on these matters makes me doubt on CI's being superior to BC in the aforementioned respects, but then, CI's BDJ time is 12 hours yet... whilst not in Europe where the evening will be replaced by dark night very soon...
Sep 13 2011 at 12:15pm Copy Link
F F Garry, I do not want to criticize your expectations in any way, but please remember there are dedicated text compare programs, and dedicated duplicate finders ; of course there is overlapping functionality inter-category-wise, but then, as always, excellence cannot be found in programs that try to offer everything except for cooking coffee as they say ; as is shown in my criteria above, even for a dedicated text compare program there is much room to improve from current (rather mediocre) standards, WITHIN just ordinary text comparing, let alone introduction of just a little bit ai = artificial intelligence.

Hence, what I want to express, it's preferable in my opinion to sharpen the core functionality of any given program, in its dedicated range of application, and thus one day we'll have some real outstanding programs for specific use, instead of encouraging developers to offer various things in a broad range of application, within the same program, but where every one of those functions leaves a lot to be desired since it's only half-baken... and where there are dozens of such programs all trying to do everything but deliver the post, but CAN'T do what they should be able to do indeed if they took a more serious approach to what their REAL usage would have to be.
Sep 13 2011 at 12:27pm Copy Link
Garry Camps so does this mean it can or cant find duplicate mp3's. i understand your explanation of being a "jack of all trades but master of NONE" .

a simple yes or no is i all i need for the answer i require........ this would be a deciding factor in whether to purchase or not.
Sep 13 2011 at 2:07pm Copy Link
Rick Truell F F: I think I've finally managed to decode what it is you're asking about, and the answer is "No"...BC can't do what you're thinking of. In fact, I doubt that Compare It!, DeltaWalker or Araxis Merge Pro (which, BTW, costs $269 now, not $199 as you mentioned) will be able to do that either, as all of these are *file* and *directory* comparison programs, not "snippet" comparison programs.

However, it is relatively easy, with BC anyway, to compare similar but differing sections of the same file (in your example, to compare an old law to a more recent version of it) by loading the file into both panels and then aligning the "old" section on one side to the "new" section on the other side, which will then compare and highlight the differences between the two.
Sep 13 2011 at 8:08pm Copy Link
Guy Good To Garry Camps:

I haven't tried this personally, so I can't comment of how well it works. Since it has a free trial, it may be worthwhile to take a look at.

Audio Comparer
Sep 13 2011 at 9:45pm Copy Link
F F Hi Rick, thanks for this clarification.

Fact is, Igor, the developer, didn't find it necessary, up to the end of this offering, to comment on any of these various subjects, which for me says it all with regards to CI.
Sep 14 2011 at 12:26pm Copy Link

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