Diffinity is a feature-rich yet lightweight free diff and merging program for PCs running Microsoft's Windows operating system.
So-called diff tools highlight differences of plain text files. The author of Diffinity put the focus on source code files and there on making diffs as easy to read as possible.
While that is the case, you may load any plain text file and even binary files in the application to see all the differences between those two loaded files.
Note: Diffinity is a .NET application and as such requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5.1.
Diffinity's interface is well designed. You start with a click on open to load two plain text files using the program. The application displays the program's side by side in its interface and uses color coding to highlight differences right away.
While that is helpful already, it is linking these differences so that you know exactly where things are not identical but different.
You may want to click on the number button in the interface to enable line numbers as they may be useful when you are comparing these two text files.
That's not the only option that you have though. You can hide whitespace differences that are highlighted in blue with a click on the whitespace button, or enable syntax colors which is highly beneficial if you compare two source code files.
Syntax colors are supported for several programming and scripting languages including php, xml, java, html, cpp, css, or .vbproj.
You can use buttons to jump to the next or previous diff in a file, or use keyboard shortcuts instead if you prefer to use the keyboard for that. There is obivously also an option to scroll the text, or use the zoomed representations on the left side of both text files to jump to that section.
This section is color coded as well so that you see the differences there without having to display that part of the code or text.
Diffinity supports copy operations on top of that. All that is required for that is to select a block on the left or right, and click on the copy left or right button afterwards. The program adds the block to the other file that is loaded then.
Loaded files can be saved directly, which overwrites them, or saved as another file instead using the save menu.
You may want to go through the preferences section on first start as it holds several interesting options.
The preferences allow you to change colors manually or by loading one of the available presets. Other options include changing font settings used in the editor, change word delimiters, or enable several selection based options such as ignoring case or matching only whole words.
Diffinity is an excellent program for Microsoft Windows device. It loads quickly and displays differences as soon as it starts. While that may differ for very large files, it had no performance issues with light to medium sized files.
Now You: Do you use diff software?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.