Beyond Compare is an excellent tool for comparing files and folders. I use it most often during software development.
My weapon of choice for file operations is Far Manager so I decided to make launching Beyond Compare fast and painless. After some experimentation I settled on creating bc.cmd in C:\Program Files\Far Manager folder:
@start "" "C:\Program Files\Beyond Compare 4\BComp.exe" %*
Note the empty string as the first argument to the start command: it wouldn’t work properly without it since the full path to BComp.exe has double quotes.
Now I can compare files from Far Manager by typing
bc file1.txt file2.txt
Usually I use Ctrl+F shortcut to insert full path to the selected file in Far Manager.
My next idea was to use some keyboard shortcut to compare Far Manager’s left and right panels. Both Far Manager and Beyond Compare have 2 panels so it’s natural to open and compare folders:
Here’s how to set it up:
- Press Ctrl+. to start recording a macro
- Type bc, then space, then press Ctrl+[ to insert path to the left folder, then space again, then Ctrl+]
- Press Enter. This should launch Beyond Compare. Close it and go back to Far Manager.
- Press Ctrl+. to stop recording the macro
- Press Ctrl+B to assign a hotkey:
Voila! Now you can press Ctrl+B to launch Beyond Compare and compare folders that you have open in Far Manager. Normally Ctrl+B turns on and off the key bar at the bottom of the window but I never do it. You can still turn it off by opening Options menu, then Interface settings:
Don’t forget to save settings by pressing Ctrl+F9. Happy comparing!