Notepad++ Compare Plugin is a diff tool for Notepad++. It shows a difference of two files side by side. In this article, let’s talk about it and see how to download, install and use it to compare two text files.
Notepad++ in Text Editor for Windows. It supports plugins to extend the feature. Notepad++ Compare Plugin is one of such plugin. I use this plugin during code review and migration. Configuration tools like Tortoise SVN, VSS provides functionality to compare the files. But I find this plugin easy to use.
How to Install Notepad++ Compare Plugin
There are two methods to install Notepad++ Compare Plugin.
Using Plugin Manager
This method use Plugin Manager to Install the plugin.
- Open Notepad++
- Navigate to Plugins-> Plugin Manager-> Show Plugin Manager
- Search Compare Plugin in Available Tab.
- Select and click to install
- Restart Notepad++
Plugin installation may fail in some cases while using Plugin Manager. You need to use manual method in this scenario.
The official Compare plugin project is https://github.com/jsleroy/compare-plugin . Download the source code from this location. Use visual studio to create respect ComparePlugin.dll file. This version has some stability issues, so another Author fixed it.
That version is present under https://github.com/pnedev/compare-plugin/releases/tag/v2.0.0 folder. It has the zip files for both X64 and x86 versions.
- Close Notepad++.
- Download ComparePlugin_v2.0.0_X64.zip or ComparePlugin_v2.0.0_x86.zip.
- Extract the folder.
- Copy ComparePlugin folder and ComparePlugin.dll to Notepad++/Pugins installation folder
- Start Notepad++
Compare Plugin will be visible under Plugins menu. Check article How to Install Plugin in Notepad++ for step by step instructions.
Compare Plugin Menu and Settings
Navigate to Plugins->Compare. It shows a popup with all commands and options available. This list down all the Keyword shortcuts as well.
Let’s see some minimum settings available for it
Color Settings – This option allows you to set color coding for Added Line, Deleted Line, Moved Line, Changed Line, Change Highlight. You can select whatever color you want by click the button.
How to Use Compare Plugin
Open the files in notepad++ which you want to compare. Navigate to Plugins->Compare and click Compare. It shows difference/comparison side by side as shown below.
Compare Plugin Toolbar
This plugin adds a small toolbar to notepad++ using which you can easily control different options for this plugin.
1 – Set as First to Compare
2 – Compare – Click to Compare open files
3 – Clear Active Compare – Close the compare window
4 – First – First difference
5 – previous – Previous Difference
6 – Next – Next Different
7 – Last – Last Difference
8 – Navigation Bar – Show/Hide Navigation Bar