CTI Textual Studies
Q & A

T e x t A n a l y s i s
T o o l s

Q What might be available for my students to compare editions of texts?

A DocuComp used to be the application most mentioned in connection with document comparison. As far as I can see DocuComp is now packaged with the Adobe File Utilities CD-ROM. However, this CD-ROM still appears not to be officially available.

CompareRite is published by Lexis-Nexus and information (except price) is available from http://www.lexis-nexis.com/lncc/custserv/html/toolbox/jsinfomn.html. It is designed with editors in mind and seems to highlight differences with a red line (either crossing out or underlining).

As far as I can see there is little difference between what CompareRite does and what Word 6.0/7.0 can do. Word can compare documents and highlight differences using underlining/crossing out/marginal bars. Simply open a document and then select Revisions from the Tools menu and then select the document to compare. You can change how revisions are highlighted through the Revision's Options menu. Selected revisions can be hidden/accepted/rejected. The one thing I don't think you can do is compare the documents side by side (it collates them) and no more than two documents can be compared at any one time.

Cheap & cheerful solutions include UltraEdit which has a 2-file compare utiltiy (amongst many other things). It's shareware and available from http://psw-www.uia.ac.be/u/peper/Soft/

Another which might be of interest is FC, available from HENSA at http://micros.hensa.ac.uk/cgi-bin/browser/mirrors/simtelnet/msdos/txtutl/fc20.zip?fn=fc20.zip. FC is DOS-based but has a number of features and the output is not too bad (it explicity states 'changed line n from: ... To ...' etc). It should be quite easy to set up a DOS batch file menu to make use of the different options.


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HTML Author: Michael Fraser
Document created: 9 October 1997
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The URL of this document is http://info.ox.ac.uk/ctitext/enquiry/tat07.html