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Is there any file-compare utility-software that can help me compare chunks of text from two text files ?

As in, I want to know what chunks of text that are in one file can be found again in the second file. What I need to do is more like a 'compare and search' operation, not just a compare line by line.

I need this for finding common errors in application logs. Eg., I have a Java application and logs from two different days. I want to find out which stack-traces (that are actually chunks of text inside a text file) are common to both days.

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What fileformat is the text you want to compare. – wizlog Nov 15 '11 at 17:41
I think he/she said it quite a number of times already: text. I understand plain text files. – m0skit0 Nov 15 '11 at 17:42
Have you tried any Difference/Comparing packages already? There's many, some of which will (probably) do what you need. See What is a good text comparison tool for Windows? and perhaps Best Diff Tool? (StackOverflow) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 15 '11 at 17:44
@techie007 i have only tried Beyond Compare... – Belun Nov 16 '11 at 14:01

You can try any number of free diff tools - I've used KDiff3, which is a good open source tool that is available on a number of different platforms. I've been able to use it to compare several log files - there is a visual indication of which lines are different and common between these files (colors for differences, white/no color for common lines).

You may need to experiment a bit to tweak the app to do exactly what you're looking for, but it's a good start.

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Zero-times mentioned CompareIT

  • It can detect moved sections and show these blocks
  • It has support for RE, so you can ignore some parts of strings performing operations
  • Automatch rules help on comparing structured sources
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