Coding Horror

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Visual Diff Tools Revisited

Back in June, I mentioned that my favorite visual differencing tool was Araxis Merge. A co-worker recently recommended that I try out Beyond Compare, so I downloaded the 30-day trial and spent an hour playing with it. It's definitely comparable to Araxis Merge. And in a lot of ways, it's better. But the real kicker is this:

Araxis Merge single license: $129. 5 or more, $83 each

Beyond Compare single license: $30. 5 or more, $17 each


It's better than Araxis Merge and it's one-third the price! Beyond Compare is the kind of finely crafted software that inspires you to register it. Give the 30-day trial version a shot and I bet you'll feel the same way.

BC not only matches Merge in terms of visual differencing features, but it also doubles as a kick ass project deployment tool. I like Unleashit, but sometimes you get what you pay for.

Because of the deep multiple license discount, we decided to buy five licenses for work. That's still $44 less than one copy of Araxis Merge! If you also decide to register BC, don't forget to download the filetype specific comparison plugins, too.

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Overflow and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: