How can I compare files in Dreamweaver?

I have to confess that I’ve been using Dreamweaver to build my site and I have never use this easy to use tool for comparing files before upload to the server. You can compare the code of local and remote versions of the same file, two different remote files, or two different local files. In order to do the comparison Dreamweaver use a file comparison tools, also known as “diff tools”. This tool is very useful specially if that the copy in the server has been modified by someone else.

In order to use this tool, you need to install a third party file comparison tool on your system. Don’t worry Dreamweaver works with most of them. The best part is, you can view and merge the remote changes into your local version before uploading the file to your server.

How to get a comparison tool or “diff tools”.

  1. Go to your browser and type: diff tools
  2. In the result list: choose one. I’m using WinMerge for this solution.
  3. If you like to use the same, go ahead and click WinMerge.
  4. Install the application in the same system as Dreamweaver.

Choose the application to compare in Dreamweaver.

  1. Open Preferences dialog box:
  2. In Windows select: Edit and then Preferences.
  3. In Macintosh select: Dreamweaver and then Preferences.
  4. Then select the File Compare category.
  5. Now do the following:
  6. Windows: click the Browse button and select the application that compares files.
  7. Macintosh: click the Browse button and select the tool or script that launches the file comparison tool from the command line, not the actual comparison tool itself.

For example in Windows:

After you have found the file comparison tool you downloaded, click OK at the bottom of the this window.

How to compare two local files

  • You can compare two files located anywhere on your computer.

In the Files panel:

    • Windows: Control-click to select the two files.
    • Macintosh: Commando-click to select the two files.

To select files outside your defined site:

  1. Select your local disk from pop-up menu in the Files panel.
  2. Select the files.
  3. Right-click one of the files selected and select Compare Local Files from the context menu.

The two files will start to be compare by the comparison tool.

How to compare two remote files

You can compare two files located on your remote server.

In order to complete this task you neeo define Dreamweaver site with the remote setting.

In the Files panel:

  1. Select Remote View from the right pop-up menu to display the files.
    • Windows: Control-click to select the two files.
    • Macintosh: Command-click to select the two files.
  2. Right-click one of the selected files and from the context menu that appears select Compare Remote Files.

How to compare a local file to a remote file

Compare a local file to a file located on your remote server.

In order to complete this task you need to define Dreamweaver site with the remote setting.

In the Files panel:

    • Right-click a local file and select Compare With Remote from the context menu.

How to compare a remote file to a local file

Compare a remote filo one located on the local file.

In order to complete this task you neeo define Dreamweaver site with the remote setting.

In the Files panel:

  1. Select Remote View from the right pop-up menu to display the files.
  2. Right-click a file in the panel and select Compare with Local from the context menu.

How to compare an open file to a remote file

If you want to compare a file open in Dreamweaver to its counterpart on the remote server.

In the Document window:

  1. Click File menu.
  2. Click Compare with Remote.

The file comparison tool starts and compares the two files.

Using Document tab on top of the Document window:

    1. Right-click the document tab.
    2. Select Compare with Remote.

The file comparison tool starts and compares the two files. Please, hover the image to expand, (not in IE, yet).

If you have an identical files you willsee this window:

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