CSDiff. HTMLDiff. ExcelDiff


CSDiff, HTMLDiff and ExcelDiff are comparison software which enable the user to compare source code, HTML/XML, plain text and MS Office files. The user can use different comparison methods: by word, by letter, and by line comparison.

CSDiff. File Comparison:
CSDiff has a single screen comparison interface, with menu bar and a toolbar. The user can compare several files and folders simultaneously, with each comparison project opened in a new window. The software provides for extensive text navigation capabilities. The comparison panel has three modes: Friendly Format, Diff Format, and Edit Format. The user can toggle between modes using toolbar buttons. In Friendly format, the text merged from both files is displayed in rich-text friendly format. In Diff format, the text is presented in traditional GNU DIFF text format. Edit format allows the user to modify the file manually. The user should select the appropriate part of the text, and then click Text Edit button. The selected text can be edited in the popup Text Editor dialog box. The user can also open the compared files in third-party applications by using Base Revision or Compared Revision commands in the View menu. CSDiff provides for a variety of useful options, including layout, navigation options and different “whitespace modes”. The user can “exchange files” at any stage of the project to switch the base and revised files. The compared file can be saved in HTML or text formats.

CSDiff File Comparison Window

CSDiff provides for comparison of MS Word files. The two files are opened in MS Word interface, containing the following panes: Original Text, Revised Text, Compared Document, and Comparison Summary. The user can easily review and edit the compared files, and then save them in MS Word format.

MS Word File Comparison with CSDiff

CSDiff. Folder Comparison:
CSDiff can be used for folder comparison as well. However, CSDiff has no folder synchronization capabilities. The files from both folders are displayed in a single panel. The user can review the folder comparison and save the comparison report in text, HTML, and XML format. The user can define a number of report options and use various filters, based on the name, date, status and type of the files.

CSDiff can also be used for comparison of HTML and XML code. However, the developer advises the user to use specific HTMLDiff software. HTMLDiff has a single screen comparison interface, similar to CSDiff. It provides for identical navigation capabilities. The compared text is displayed in rich text format, which provides for convenient, intuitive difference analysis. The text can be displayed in “visual aspect” as well as “source code” mode. The user can compare local as well as remote files stored on remote servers using FTP, HTTP and HTTPS protocols. The comparison report can be saved in HTML format.

HTMLDiff File Comparison Window

HTMLDiff provides for folder comparison as well. However, its folder comparison capabilities are similar to CSDiff, with no support for folder synchronization functionality.

ExcelDiff is a file comparison software which allows the user to compare MS Excel documents. Document comparison is displayed in a single screen, with the modified entries in the base file crossed out and replaced by the entries from the new file. ExcelDiff provides for comparison of multi-sheet documents as well. However, ExcelDiff does not allow the user to edit the compared text or save the target file as MS Excel. ExcelDiff report capabilities are also limited: the user can only save the comparison project in HTML format. Some users may find functionality of ExcelDiff insufficient. For instance, similar file and folder comparison software – Compare Suite – provides for side-by-side, color-coded comparison of source code, text and MS Office files, allowing the user to compare, edit MS Excel files and then export them back in Excel format.

ExcelDiff Comparison Window

Explorer integration: supported
CSDiff, HTMLDiff and ExcelDiff can be integrated in Windows explorer, providing for quick access to this software directly from Windows environment.

CSDiff is a free software. HTMLDiff is available online for $99 USD, which is considerably more expensive than most other comparison utilities with identical functionality. The price for ExcelDiff single user license is also $99 USD, which is higher than the price for Compare Suite ($60 USD). Evaluation versions of HTMLDiff and ExcelDiff are also available for 30 days with full functionality.

CSDiff, HTMLDiff and ExcelDiff are a good choice for comparison of office documents as well as source code and HTML/XML files. However, single-screen comparison interface may be inconvenient for some users. Besides, the price for the full document management suite, including CSDiff, HTMLDiff, ExcelDiff and CS-NetDocs, which provides for remote access to co-located documents over the Internet (detailed info on CS-NetDocs can be found here), is much higher than the price for similar comparison utilities.

Our rating for this software package is 6/10. However, CSDiff is our Editor’s choice as an outstanding free diff software providing for the comparison of source code, HTML and MS Word documents.

Price: CSDiff: free for single users; HTMLDiff: $99; ExcelDiff: $99

Supported file formats: plain text, HTML/XML, source code, MS Word and MS Excel

Diverse comparison methods
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Integration with version control systems Yes
Folder comparison
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Custom file filters
Byte-by-byte comparison