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Definition: file compare

The operation of matching two files to each other to find out where any differences might occur. File compare programs have existed since day one in the computer business, initially as command line utilities and later as graphics-based applications. A well-designed file compare program is indispensable to programmers and technicians who are writing programs, tracking changes or troubleshooting problems.

UltraCompare Example
UltraCompare from IDM Computer Solutions (www.idmcomp.com) is an extremely useful program that can match up to three files. The differences between two text files are shown (top) and between two executables (bottom). In these short examples, all content is visible, but the program can display only the differences. Among many features, UltraCompare can match folder hierarchies between machines.