In praise of Beyond Compare

It's a shame that Beyond Compare isn't listed in more "favorite tool" lists. This amazing little folder and file differencing tool has earned its spot in my core toolset a dozen times over. Here's a screenshot of it in action:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Not only is Beyond Compare one of my must have development tools, it is also one of my must have Windows Power User tools. The ability to sync entire drives and directories is great, it even supports syncing over FTP.

I am using it right now to remove data from a dying 200 gig hard drive. Unlike other file copy tools it will continue if one of the files fails. Then it shows a whole tree view allowing you to drill down into the individual directories and files to see what is in sync.

Also the image comparison plug-in is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. If you do any kind of graphic work you will find it indispensable.

Beyond the incredible feature list I would say one of the main things I love about BC is that it is very fast and intuitive to use. Sure, someone else might expect it to work a different way, so the best way to find out if you cannot live without it is to download it and try the 30 trial. That is what hooked me and got me to switch from what I was previously using.

I’ve used BC for quite a while, and it’s an excellent tool.

One of the things that’s nice about it is the extensibility; you can write your own comparison add-ins.

Yep, its a great tool. I used WinMerge until I was told about this tool by a guy on our release managment team. Most of our devs hadn’t heard of it.

Aside a more expensive license price, Araxis Merge is way much nicer and easier to use IMHO.

Personally, I prefer ExamDiff Pro. And if you ever need to search something on your hard disk, try FileLocator Pro!

we’ve been praising beyond compare for a long time.

in addition to giving out a few copies in our november software drawing, members of can get 25% off beyond compare through the first week in december:

make sure while you’re at the site to check out the Dina Programming font mentioned previously on codinghorror.

(donating any amount to our site makes you a member).

FileLocator Pro is a great tool. They have a free version called agent ranksack.

Both are great and remove all thoses problems that ms-windows file search has.

I’ve used Beyond Compare for years now and have a personal copy. We used it at my last position and it worked flawlessly. Highly recommended!

I haven’t tried ExamDiff, but I have used Araxis quite a bit and I think Beyond Compare is both better AND cheaper than Araxis Merge.

Here’s another second for Beyond Compare:

Can anyone provide a breakdown of the features in Beyond Compare (or Araxis) that make it worth the price over WinMerge?

Beyond Compare is only $30! I know free is free, but $30 is only $30. And a 25% discount on top of that if you join Donation Coder. You cheapskates :wink:

Give the 30-day free trial a shot. I have zero affiliate stake in this, I just think BC is an essential – and very inexpensive – tool.

I’ll second that emotion, Jeff. BeyondCompare is a great tool I have used for years.

Araxis Merge is great also, but I like the vibe of BC more.

forgot to mention, did a giant review of comparison tools and beyondcompare came out on top.

you can read all about why we loved it so much, and see how it compares to araxis, and even see tons of screenshots and movies in our review:

hmmmm,I’ll have to try out BC. I’ve been using KDiff for a long time. Previous to that I just used whatever diff tool was built into the SCM I was using at the time.

Very awesome tool. I’ve been using Beyond Compare for over a year now.

After reading about Araxis and BC here last December, I tried them both and bought a license for BC; haven’t looked back since, great tool.

Yep, Beyond Compare is a really nice application. Written in Delphi, too (a href=""

I’ll second the recommendation for WinMerge. Can anyone provide a breakdown of the features in Beyond Compare (or Araxis) that make it worth the price over WinMerge?

Yeah, I agree. A comparison between Beyond Compare and other file/folder comparison tools would be very handy. I have been using Beyond Compare for about a year now, too and would probably need a good reason to switch :wink:

Araxis Merge Professional is the version that can handle a full 3-way compare and merge. That functionality is VERY VERY nice, especially when you need to manage a client who has really let their code go all over the place (not my current employer!). I like the way Araxis handles “alignment” between the 3 sources – much better than VSS. This is discussed in the donationcoder site.

I like WinMerge, and wish they would add 3-way compare-merge to their product – maybe they need some help :).

Beyond Compare looks like it handles alignment well also. I will be testing it now. The donationcoder site has a animation of it also: a href=""

I’m testing another tool, called SibSerf a href=""
– which takes a different approach to 3-way compare and merge. Pretty interesting.