Looking for an easy way to figure out the differences and similarities between two text documents? We recommend using a diff checker. It’s a nifty tool that will do all the tedious work for you in a matter of seconds.
While there are plenty of desktop applications for various operating systems, you can try any of the top online diff checker tools below, as they are web-based and can be accessed from any platform.
Diffchecker is hailed as the best tool of its kind. It’s capable of comparing text files, images, PDFs, Excel sheets, and entire folders. While it’s fully functional in its online state, you can download a desktop version for your Mac, Windows, or Linux machine.
The tool allows unified diff viewing and character-level merging for those who want detailed insights into every edit made on their file or project over time. There’s even a Dark Mode feature that allows you to stay productive in low-light environments without straining your eyes or wasting precious battery life.
Diffchecker is not without its faults. For one thing, its ability to check for differences between images is shoddy at best and not something you’ll want to rely on for important jobs. Furthermore, diff checking PDFs takes much more time compared to text documents.
Overall, Diffchecker is perfect for making quick changes or catching up on work while on the go.
2. Text Compare
Perfect for bloggers and writers, Text Compare boasts a no-nonsense user interface. Just paste some text in one field and another body of text in the other, then click the compare button and let the tool do the rest.
Text Compare has a handy “Email this comparison” option that allows you to quickly shoot yourself an email with the results of the texts you’re comparing. It does lack some of the more complex features that are offered by its rivals, such as the ability to compare PDFs, Excel sheets, and other file types. Also, you can’t upload files to diff check and will have to resort to copying and pasting plain text each time, which can be a hassle.
Fortunately, Text Compare delivers where it counts, with its greatest strengths being its simplicity and the ability to get the job done without spending a dime.
Editpad forgoes complexities in favor of a streamlined, no-fuss aesthetic. It allows you to upload the files you want to compare, which means you won’t have to resort to copying and pasting text every time you want to use the tool. In addition to TXT, DOC, and DOCX files, Editpad also accepts PDFs, which can come in really handy.
Another cool thing about Editpad is on-screen banners that show the percentage of the file-checking status. The font size makes for comfortable reading, and the mustard yellow highlight is easy on the eyes.
The tool doesn’t have advanced features, and the captcha requirement can be rather annoying, especially if you need to compare multiple files back to back. Faults aside, Editpad remains an excellent diff checker tool that’s sure to attract both newbies and veterans alike.
W3Docs is rather different from the diff checker tools we’ve discussed so far. It’s designed primarily to show the differences between various lines of code, making it an invaluable tool for programmers. That’s not to say that it doesn’t work with normal text.
Once you type or copy-paste text snippets into the diff checker for comparison, the tool will highlight the differences through red and green colors by default. Its simple user interface is definitely a plus, and its customizable multi-colored highlights are a great way of making differences easier to see. Another great thing is the full-width layout of the site that gives you quite a bit of real estate to work with.
Unfortunately, the website is known to crash every now and then. The tool also lacks a merge and save feature that could have been really useful to coders and writers. Minor drawbacks aside, W3Docs is a fantastic diff checker that programmers will likely find extra appealing.
The tool only supports plain text and doesn’t have a drag-and-drop feature, so you’ll have to copy and paste strings each time. Also, the bulky side bar on the left can be rather distracting, and the tool would benefit from a bit more color.
If these slight disadvantages aren’t of too much consequence to you and you’re in the market for a diff checker that can handle code, then you should definitely give AppDevTool’s offering a go.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can diff checker tools help detect plagiarism?
Diff checkers are not effective tools in detecting plagiarism, as they’re only capable of comparing text that you already have.
Plagiarism checkers usually work using an advanced database that constantly grows as the tool crawls and indexes Web content, allowing it to compare the entered text against an enormous range of online content. They also have algorithms that can help detect paraphrased content that appears too similar to previously published material. Keeping all of this in mind, you’re better off using a plagiarism checker for detecting plagiarism.
2. Is there a mobile version of these diff checker tools?
Unfortunately, no. You’ll have to use a web-based or desktop-based diff checker for now.
Image credit: Unsplash
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