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  • Feature requests

    First, thanks for a great product, I use it each and every day.

    Here are some things I wish I could do:
    1) Alignment enhancement. I wish I could select a set of lines on the left, choose align, then select a similar set of lines on the right and have them all align. It would be even cooler if this triggered an updated compare (so if I selected, say 10 lines on the left and 11 lines on the right it would do it's best to figure out which 10 of the 11 lined up with the 10 on the left).

    2) I wish I could do an ad-hoc text comparison. I often find myself with large files in my text editor and I want to pull out sections of the file and compare them. Currently what I do is I write each of these sections to a temp file (temp1.txt and temp2.txt or something) and then use BC to compare these files. However, these files are *only* being created for BC. I'd like to be able to open a text compare with no files specified (basically two side-by-side text editors), paste in the pieces I want to compare, then exit without saving (if I make any changes I will copy/paste them into the original files), or if I hit save it could ask me for a file name at that time.

    3) I have made changes to a bunch of my File Formats (which is very cool, thank you), and I can save each one individually, but it would be cool to be able to save them all to synchronize with another computer.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Hello,

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    1) We support this behavior in the latest releases of BC3 and BC4. Select multiple lines on one side, right-click and select Align With, then on the other side click and drag to select multiple lines. This should behave as you wished.

    2) Select a text section, right click, and Copy it (to the clipboard). Then select another text section on either side, right click, and select Compare to Clipboard. This will launch a new tab comparing the clipboard to the new selection.

    3) Not sure what you mean by this one. You can use the Tools menu -> Export wizard to back up or transport current settings to another computer, including File Formats. On the destination machine, use the Tools menu -> Import wizard to bring them in.
    Aaron P Scooter Software

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    • #3
      Thanks for the quick response Aaron!

      Regarding #1, I was sure I had tried that, so I went and played around with it, and darned if it didn't work (mostly, I still need to figure it out, I kept getting stuck with the cursor showing the ?).

      Regarding #2, that's a cool feature that I was unaware of. However, I am often in my text editor (SlickEdit or Visual Studio), editing a very large file, so if I understand you, you are suggesting that I load the giant file into BC (compared with, I guess, a random other file?), find where I'm trying to compare and then do the clipboard thing. That sounds like more trouble than my solution, actually. If I'm on line 68,000 of a large data file and I want to compare it with line 32,000 in that same file (which I can see both of because in my editor I've split my window) it would be hard to load that into BC and then find those exact same scroll points.

      How I was envisioning solving it was to launch a 2-way BC compare without files, then copy/paste the two sections into the left/right editors. Maybe I could code the functionality that you are talking about into my editor with a macro? Is there a command-line method for doing what it is doing with the internal compare to clipboard function. I'm not sure how I would pass the second block of text, actually. Maybe I should just implement a macro to do what you describe, but write temp files and launch BC.

      Regarding #3, you are right, that would work. It's just that all I was changing was the File Extensions and since there was the ability to save one extension (I'm not sure why, now) I was looking for a way to save them all at once.

      Thanks again,

      Scott

      Originally posted by Aaron View Post
      Hello,

      Thanks for the suggestions.

      1) We support this behavior in the latest releases of BC3 and BC4. Select multiple lines on one side, right-click and select Align With, then on the other side click and drag to select multiple lines. This should behave as you wished.

      2) Select a text section, right click, and Copy it (to the clipboard). Then select another text section on either side, right click, and select Compare to Clipboard. This will launch a new tab comparing the clipboard to the new selection.

      3) Not sure what you mean by this one. You can use the Tools menu -> Export wizard to back up or transport current settings to another computer, including File Formats. On the destination machine, use the Tools menu -> Import wizard to bring them in.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello,

        #2) That function exists, too. If you Copy text from any application (not just BC) you can launch a blank Text Compare and use the File menu -> Open Clipboard (Ctrl+Shift+V) to open the current clipboard as a temporary file. I had assumed you were already looking at the text in BC, and the Compare to Clipboard command on a selection in BC works with any clipboard.
        Aaron P Scooter Software

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aaron View Post
          Hello,

          #2) That function exists, too. If you Copy text from any application (not just BC) you can launch a blank Text Compare and use the File menu -> Open Clipboard (Ctrl+Shift+V) to open the current clipboard as a temporary file. I had assumed you were already looking at the text in BC, and the Compare to Clipboard command on a selection in BC works with any clipboard.
          This is great and definitely is easier than saving two files. You know, I've been using BC for 14 years and there are still things about the product I don't know.

          Since you are batting 1,000, is there a way to do that from the command line, so that I could code it into a macro in SlickEdit, Visual Studio, and Notepad++ (I looked through http://www.scootersoftware.com/v4hel...reference.html and http://www.scootersoftware.com/v4hel...reference.html and didn't even see a way to load left or right specifically)? In fact, I would code two macros, one for "left side" and one for "right side," and send command lines to BC by right-clicking on a selection, copying the selection into the clipboard and then doing something like:

          BC /left /loadClipboard
          BC /right /loadClipboard

          I could even create an index in the macros, so that I could match up left and right calls:

          BC /I:32 /left /loadClipboard
          BC /I:32 /right /loadClipboard

          I would index the number every other time they ran my script, or every time the choose the same side twice (this way you would know to which "tab" you should apply the left or right contents). Or BC could just take any left without a right and do the compare. I figure this might exist already in some form since your Explorer plugin does this now (with files).

          I hadn't used the scripting before and the load command seemed promising, but it seemed like you could either specify a "session" or files, but not both (or left or right separately). Maybe I'm just missing it.

          Or, alternatively, is there a way in the scripting to specify the actual text being compared? Then in my macro I could just save off the text into a hidden buffer with the scripting commands to load the text into the left and right when they pick the second set.

          Thanks once again!
          Last edited by sgartner; 01-Jul-2015, 06:50 PM. Reason: Added thoughts about using load

          Comment


          • #6
            Ah hah! You've unfortunately found a scenario we aren't able to handle. Scripting and command line support requires an existing folder compare session or existing files. This would be a setup where I'd recommend the macro generate temp files, then pass the pair of temp files into BC scripting or command line:
            bcompare.exe "@c:\bcscript.txt" "c:\tempfile1.txt" "c:\tempfile2.txt"
            where script can reference the parameters with "%1", "%2", etc
            -or-
            bcompare.exe "c:\tempfile1.txt" "c:\tempfile2.txt"
            Aaron P Scooter Software

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Aaron View Post
              Ah hah! You've unfortunately found a scenario we aren't able to handle. Scripting and command line support requires an existing folder compare session or existing files.
              I guess I don't understand the scripting. I thought (remember that I haven't used it) that you called BC and gave it the script instead of files and the script figured out what to load (or something). I'll play around with it, just so I know when it can be useful.

              Thanks again so much for helping me.

              Scott

              Comment


              • #8
                This is also true. A simple script would be:
                bcompare.exe @c:\script.txt

                where the script.txt would have the explicit text within to load certain folders, or report certain files:
                load c:\folder1 c:\folder2
                expand all
                folder-report layout:side-by-side output-to:c:\bcreport.txt

                or

                text-report layout:side-by-side output-to:c:\bcreport.txt c:\file1.txt c:\file2.txt


                However, the command line supports passing text values into the script. So in the above, the text of the paths is passed along the command line, and each argument can be referenced in the order it appears on the command line: %1, %2, %3, etc. It's a method in which you can then pass path information as text into the script without managing multiple script files.

                The Clipboard, however, is not an input target we support in scripting. So you would still need to generate and use Temp files and then pass or use those temp files or folders for your scripting. For a list of supported options, see our Help file -> Scripting Reference chatper, for the Load command (folders) and the folder-report and text-report command for folder and file reports.
                Aaron P Scooter Software

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