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I want to compare two folders, each having about 5-6 thousands files and folders. Among these probably 0.1% would be actually different but WinMerge first shows all files saying "text files are different" and when I open these files one by one it opens a dialog saying contents in both files are the same. It is nearly impossible for me to find files actually having different text, in this way.
First, I tried to set options but no success.
Then, I thought this initial difference may be due to different time stamps. So I made all file time stamps (create, last modified and last accessed ) exactly the same but the result is the still same.
Am I missing something? Or is there any way to filter the list so that I may see only the files with some difference? Or any other idea?

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migrated from Aug 10 '10 at 15:25

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Are you ignoring white space when viewing each file? – Oded Aug 9 '10 at 19:25
YES, I am ignoring both white spaces and different line feeds – SJP Aug 10 '10 at 1:50
Try Beyond Compare. – Greg Hewgill Aug 10 '10 at 9:45

4 Answers 4

I would have thought that WinMerge with the following settings would work:


If it doesn't, I would ask the question in their forums.
I believe this is worth the effort, as WinMerge is my best file-compare product.

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Thanks. Whitespaces were headache – om471987 Aug 20 '13 at 22:58

Try setting the Compare option "Ignore carriage return differences".

Differences in line endings (CRLF/CR/LF) are the usual suspect when one mode of comparison (binary) reports differences but another mode (text) claims that the files are the same.

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Its already like this. – SJP Aug 9 '10 at 22:03
You are right @brian, there is really a line feed difference in most of the files that winmerge is not ignoring in first pass. – SJP Aug 10 '10 at 2:46

Try with the software called 'Beyond Compare'.

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its not free... – om471987 Aug 20 '13 at 22:58

You might want to try ECMerge or Araxis as well. They both have appropriate settings to ignore spaces / CRLF.

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