PrestoSoft Blog :: Home

Monday, January 18, 2010

ExamDiff Pro 5.0 Beta!

We are pleased to announce that we've just released a beta of ExamDiff Pro 5.0!

The most important features that we added to the beta are a Line Inspector panel for easy recognition of differences within lines in file comparison and synchronization buttons in directory comparison. Both of these features greatly improve ExamDiff Pro's merging functionality by making it easier than ever to reconcile specific differences. More new features in 5.0 that can help users find and reconcile differences include Hide and Hide All But These commands in directory comparison, a Copy Line to Other File context menu command in file comparison, and a Split Block command in file comparison that breaks apart a single Changed diff block into an Added block and a Deleted block.

ExamDiff Pro 5.0 Beta adds plenty of other features and improvements as well. Sorting in directory comparison can now combine results from both panes, resulting in a more logical pattern. A new Use Comparison Filters command can enable or disable the use of all filters in the Options | Dir Comparison | Filters panel with a single click. A new option causes the drop-down boxes in the Compare dialog to only show second items that have already been compared to the first item. Unicode files without BOMs can now be detected automatically, and plug-ins can now be matched by wildcard and not just extensions. You can find more details about the 5.0 beta, including an even larger list of new features, and a download link, here.

Over the course of the next few months I will be posting more articles on how to use the new features in this beta.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Line Inspector

The feature that we're most excited to be putting into ExamDiff Pro 5.0 is one that many users have requested: a "Line Inspector" panel for file comparison that shows the currently selected line and the matching line in the opposite pane. The line inspector makes it easier to find differences within lines by displaying one line above the other. The line inspector sits underneath the comparison panes, as shown below:

The synchronization buttons in the line inspector are used to copy a line from one file to the other, as shown below. Note that they differ from the synchronization buttons in the diff bars, which copy diff blocks rather than single lines.

You can edit within the line inspector as long as editing is enabled, but you can't select more than one line within it. The context menu for the line inspector provides the same basic editing commands (Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Select All) as the diff pane context menu, as well as a Copy Line to Other File command that performs the same action as the line inspector sync buttons:

Because the Copy Line to Other File command can be useful in many situations, we've decided to add it to the diff pane context menu as well:

Note that the synchronization buttons in the line inspector, just like those in the main diff panes, are disabled whenever editing is disabled or the files are out of sync. For instance, the sync buttons become hidden when you desynchronize the files by removing a line from one of them:

Finally, if you wish to hide the line inspector, you can either select Hide Line Inspector from the line inspector context menu (shown above) or uncheck View | Line Inspector:

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sync Buttons in Directory Comparison

Our users often have to copy many files at once during comparison, and drag-and-drop and the Copy to First/Second commands can both be a little unwieldy. To make copying batches of files easier than ever in ExamDiff Pro 5.0, we're adding synchronization buttons to the diff panes in directory comparison windows, just like the ones that are already available for file comparison.

Simply click on the arrow-shaped button for any diff block, and the block's contents are copied in that direction:

Note that, while the icons for the sync buttons and the Copy to First/Second commands look similar, the two commands are different: the sync buttons are for copying diff blocks, while the Copy to First/Second commands are for copying selected items.

Also note that, just as with the Copy to First/Second commands, copying a deleted block is equivalent to deleting the opposite block's contents:

By default, synchronization buttons will be enabled for both file and directory comparison. Sync buttons now have separate enable/disable checkboxes for file and directory comparison, under Options | View:

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Why You Can't Rely on Email Forwarding

We'd like to apologize to all of our users who did not receive our typical prompt replies in the past couple months. We used an email forwarding system to aggregate mail from multiple email accounts on the domain, but it looks like we were overly optimistic about the reliability of email forwarding. Over the past few months, most of our mail was delivered promptly, but about 10% was inexplicably stuck in the originating accounts.

We just found out about this problem earlier today, and we did our best to answer every one of the emails that flooded our inbox. We have now changed our setup to avoid such problems in the future. Again, we apologize to all those who experienced a long delay as a result of this problem.