I don’t think Scrivener has has a side-by-side comparison feature? I don’t know if such a thing has been considered? I know there’s the side-by-side view, I’m talking about something that highlights differences between the two files. Granted, I imagine the rich text nature of scrivener either renders this difficult or impossible. I’m on Mac and bringing in a lot of unorganized txt files, and can’t seem to find a decent file comparison tool that doesn’t require Xcode (which I don’t want to install, because being a full-featured IDE means it’s huge and my ssd in my macbook is tiny).
Yes I know about snapshot comparing, I’m probably about to go use that due a lack of other/better options.
Most free mac file diff tools/options I’ve found don’t have a dark mode and are designed for developers (and therefore have feature-sets not ideal for creative writing, for example I found at least one that doesn’t even have the option to turn on soft-wrapping), making them obnoxious to read from. I’ve done too much screen-reading today (and have tons more to do), so my eyes are not ok with white bg’s on programs like WinMerge (yes, I pulled the windows machine to see if it could be of any help for this task, so far no dice).
Anyway, I should probably get back to it? Any suggestions are welcome, because this massive pile of random text files that I’ve had growing for years is making me go cross eyed. I am both surprised by how little time it has taken me to get done with what I have done, and at the same time staggered by how much more there is to do….
I’ve always used the snapshot method—if the two texts are so close to one another that comparing them like this is meaningful, then chances are I don’t want two separate outline nodes for them anyway (matter of taste, I understand, as some might) and would want them “stacked” as versions of the same chunk of text. So with that done, Compare in the main editor is quite efficient—often more efficient than diff style dual-scroll views, I find. Since it does not require two columns to display what has changed, that means I can keep the present-tense editable version in that column, and use the “change log” column to inform my edits of it.
But where diff is useful, I use Visual Studio Code with the Diff extension by Fabio Spampinato. It’s a useful text editor on its own as well, and not too massive (at least not XCode levels of madness).
I don’t think there is yet a way of doing this on Windows, but for the Mac, any of the methods you would use to load a snapshot into another editor or copyholder can be loaded in comparison mode, by taking that action with the Option key held down. So drag and drop with Option, or using the right-click header bar icon menu to Option click on “Open Snapshot in Other Editor”, etc.
You may have already considered this option. Despite my distaste for separate standalone apps, I use ‘CompareMerge2.app’, available for the Mac in the App Store, to compare my compiled *.tex text files.
Does a pretty good job of matching the *.tex text files and for highlighting the differences, with options to customize colors, and it doesn’t require Xcode.
Unfortunately, I did not see an option for dark mode.
I’m using the mac version, I got it to work by opening the inspector, right clicking on the snapshot, and choosing open changes in copy holder. This puts the version showing the changes split with the current version that I can edit. I don’t know what I think of this yet, I need to give it some field testing. Either way thank you AmberV, I appreciating know that it’s there if I run into a case where I want it.
I haven’t heard of CampareMerge2 before, but thank you for bringing it up.
For anyone who’s lurking, I actually did end up finding a pretty good text file comparison tool for Mac called BBEdit. It has a paid version, but you don’t have to pay for it. It turns itself into the free version after the trial period. And according to their site, the free version includes difference comparison, so I should be set on that front? I’ll know for sure when the trial is up, but it seems to be a good fit for me so far.