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Comparison Modes

Files, directories, and database data can be compared in DiffDog in several ways. The comparison mode is indicated by the icons in the Comparison Mode and Database Data Comparison Mode toolbars. You can change the comparison mode either by clicking a different toolbar icon or by selecting the desired mode from the Diff and Merge menu.


The comparison mode you select is important. For example, identical files with different timestamps will be indicated as same in Text Comparison Mode but as different in Quick Comparison Mode. The  available comparison modes are described below.


File comparison

When a File Comparison window is active, or when Quick Comparison Mode is toggled off in a Directory Comparison window, you can select from among the following four file comparison modes:


ic_text        Text: Compares files as text files; compares directories with contents treated as text files.
ic_xml        XML: Compares files as XML files; compares directories with contents treated as XML files.
ic_bin        Binary: Compares files as binary files; compares directories with contents treated as binary files.
ic_ext        File extension: Compares files as text or XML according to settings for file extensions, which you can make in the File Types tab of the DiffDog Options dialog (Tools | DiffDog Options); compares directories with contents treated as text files, XML files, Microsoft Word files, or binary files according to file extension.


Directory comparison

When a Directory Comparison window is active, you can choose between Quick Comparison Mode and one of the four file comparison modes described in the File comparison section above.


ic_quick Quick comparison: Compares files within directories and sub-directories by size and date modified. This mode is either toggled on or off. When toggled off, the four file comparison modes become available. Selecting one of the file comparison modes causes directories to be compared in terms of their contents as text, XML, or binary files.


Database data comparison

When a Databases Data Comparison window is active, you can select either string comparison or native comparison.


ic_text String: Compares the content of database tables as strings with no regard to how the content is stored in the database.
ic_native Native: Considers the data type of a database column when comparing tables. The same data, for example, can be considered different when it is stored in two columns using different data types.
ic_xml XML Native: Treats the content of  XML columns as XML files. This comparison mode is only available together with the Native comparison mode.


Current Comparison Mode

DiffDog uses the concept of the current comparison mode. This is the comparison mode that is current at any given time. For each type of comparison window (file, directory, and database data), a separate current comparison mode exists at all times. The current comparison mode for each type of comparison window is that comparison mode most recently selected by you in any of the open comparison windows of that type. When the application is started, the current comparison modes are the comparison modes that were current at the time the application was last closed.


Every File Comparison window, Directory Comparison window, and Database Data Comparison window has a comparison mode.


When new comparison windows (file, directory, or database data) are opened, they have the current comparison mode for that type of comparison window (file, directory, or database data). Note that the current comparison mode for file comparisons applies to new directory comparison windows if Quick Comparison Mode is not the current comparison mode for directory comparisons.


If you change the comparison mode of a comparison window, then that comparison mode applies to that particular comparison window. The comparison mode of other open comparison windows is not affected. However, the newly selected comparison mode becomes the current comparison mode and is applied to all comparison windows that are opened subsequently.

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