Compare Two Files Easily Using this Free Online Service

toggle-button
diffnow-300.jpg
 
Imagine a situation where you two long files which you want to compare. They might be say, the membership lists for a club for two different years or two versions of a text document. What you want to do is compare the two files for differences.
 
If the files are short this is simple enough to do by hand but when they are long, the task quickly becomes daunting. Thankfully there are computer tools that will do the job for you.
 
Comparing two files or two versions is a common problem in the computer world and long ago, tools were developed to solve this exact problem. They are called “diff” programs and they are actually built into Windows and Mac OS. On a Mac all you need do is open a terminal window and type in:
 
diff file1 file2
 
where file1 and file2 are the files you want to compare. 
 
On a PC you need to open a command window and do the same but substitute FC (which stand for File Compare) for diff
 
fc file1 file2
 
Before you get too excited, I need to tell you that the results from these built in command line tools are not easy to read. Still they are always there and free to use. 
 
Thankfully there are numerous diff tools available online that are also free and easy to use but produce results that are far more easily understood.
 
One of my favourites is DiffNow (https://www.diffnow.com/) which can compare not only Office documents (doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx) but PDF, HTML, plain text and many more file formats.
 
Usage is simple. Go to https://www.diffnow.com/ and copy and paste or upload the two files you want to compare. Press the “Compare” button and you will see a two-window display with the contents of each file displayed in each window with two-way differences highlighted in colour. The results can be downloaded if you wish.
 
The service is free for up to five comparisons a day and for files up to two megabytes. More comparisons and/or larger file sizes can be handled by registering and/or subscribing to their paid service.
 
This is something you will may only ever need occasionally but the take-away for you here is that this is another free service available online without having to buy or install a specialist program to do the job.

Please rate this article: 

Your rating: None
4.333335
Average: 4.3 (12 votes)
toggle-button

Comments

I have been using DiffMerge for years - https://www.sourcegear.com/diffmerge/ available for most operating systems.

This is more or less a copy of https://www.techsupportalert.com/content/compare-text-or-files-online-see-what-changed.htm

Looks like Robert Schifreen and I independently discovered the same website. I think you can take that as a double recommendation - Gizmo