UltraCompare 2023.1 has just been released. This update highlights the following: a QoL change used to safely merge two files into a new file, a new difference alignment method, a feature parity update from UltraEdit, and a set of new Git-focused command line options.
This release is also focused on keeping features and functionality up to date to the latest standards. It also improves overall stability of the program based on the majority of our user reports. Browse the bug fixes and improvements section below to see the full list.
Merge into New File
File compares in UltraCompare allow selective merging of differences between 2 or 3 files. However, if you’ve ever wanted to compare or merge files without altering the original two files, then this update will make it more convenient to do so.
This new option, accessible from the folder compare context menu, allows you to create a separate individual third file so you can get a merged version without affecting the original two files.
Expanded Compare/difference alignment methods
UltraCompare now offers 2 difference alignment methods to accommodate data and line differences with efficiency and improved human readability. UltraCompare has traditionally used the Myer’s Difference Algorithm which efficiently finds the longest common subsequence. While this algorithm is fast and accurate, its comparison and alignment of differences at any given local point, meaning within a relatively short common range of lines between two files, may not match human readability expectations. Enter the Patience Diff method which does produce more human readable and expected difference matching and alignment. It accomplishes this by looking only for common elements between 2 sets of data.
One of the most popular use cases for a diff tool is using it for analyzing source control versions.
Changes in source code are usually defined by blocks or sequences of altered code. As a dev, you see code in blocks of functions or sections, so mentally you might want your diffs to be done this way as well, as opposed to a top-to-bottom comparison of each character in the files.
UltraCompare can now be ordered to use the Myer’s algorithm or the Patience Diff algorithm for a more “context-accurate” result. This new way of aligning and showing results may be desirable for some use cases such as those mentioned above.
For contrast: The Myer’s compare algorithm goes through each character one by one, checking for differences.
Access this new option via: Settings → Compare → Alignment method.
Integrated dockable PowerShell window
Following from recent UltraEdit updates, comes added support for an integrated PowerShell instance inside the compare UI. Instead of launching a PowerShell manually, a dockable PowerShell window can be initiated using the Layout → Terminal ribbon command.
With this new feature, you can execute command line tasks without having to navigate out of the editor. (We’ve added new command line options—more in the next section)
New command line options
UC 2023.1 also comes with a number of new command line options—primarily based around Git commands. See the list below:
- -bt Ignore tabs
- -gitcp Compare to previous version
- -gitcu Compare to unmodified
- -gitor Open local repository
“Compare as” context menu command for Folder mode
If you are on folder mode, when you launch a comparison, you can now right click on a file and specify what type of compare to execute. You can choose from the following modes:
- Text compare mode
- Binary compare mode
- Table compare mode (Excel and CSV)
This is file specific so you can easily swap compare modes in your sessions.
What’s Next for UltraCompare?
The changes in this release apply to both Windows and Mac versions of UltraCompare (with the exception of the PowerShell update which is Win-specific). Linux will follow suit late this year or at the beginning of next year. We are hoping to have complete feature parity sometime soon.
If you have a suggestion on how to improve UltraCompare send us an email. Send us your ideas on what you want to learn more about UltraCompare or any of the products under UltraEdit’s suite of tools. Have specific questions? Let us know what tutorials, blog posts, or even webinars you want.
Bug Fixes and QoL Improvements
- Compare engine improvements
- CTRL+Z results in undo of ALL session edits, not just the last one
- Add support for “Use bold font for differences” for binary/table modes as well
- Allow users to merge “fake lines” over content in file compare to delete content in target file
- Impossible to enter =! in quick find dialog
- Attempting to compare specific RAR archives fail
- Repeated crashes during specific folder merge
- Timestamp difference enhancements suggested for comparing FAT to NTFS folders
- When adjusting columns in one table column widths should be automatically matched in the other table
- Improved application stability
- Allow customer to specify folder that should be used for temp files
- -nonrec should force non-recursive compare but doesn’t work
- Sync rules are empty after install