Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Word wrap in text-compare

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • CakeSpork
    started a topic Word wrap in text-compare

    Word wrap in text-compare

    It would be great if in the plain text-compare sessions I could have the lines word-wrap automatically. I'm stuck going to the end of the line and manually adding crlfs for both windows now, and it's quite tedious. I need to do it so often that I've created a regex in Notepad++ to create crlfs after a certain number of characters per line, but even that is pretty annoying to use.

    I've seen this feature requested for BC2 in old threads. If it's possible, how do I do it? If not: please put my +1 on that feature request.

    Love the product, have been using it for years. I'd post more on the forums, but there's not much to complain about!

  • Zoë
    replied
    We are working on word wrap in the Text Compare's editor as a launch feature for version 5. We are trying to get it out as soon as possible, but don't expect to launch in the next 12 months. It will only affect the display; we want to compare across line ending changes in the original files too, but that will have to come later.

    We have been trying to add word wrap for a long time. Beyond Compare's implementation is more complex than a traditional text editor's because we have to take the comparison into account, including gaps to keep things aligned, and we have to synchronize between multiple files and up to 7 editors (main compare, merge output, line details). Doing all of that well, and keeping it performant for large files, has been a significant challenge, and there have been several false starts.

    Yes, we have developed other features in the meantime. We have to weigh the needs of all of our customers, and many of them were asking for things like 3-way merges and macOS support. Also, our developers have different expertise and areas of responsibility; the one handling our cloud support is not involved with word-wrap, and can't easily switch to that.

    We are sorry that it's taking so long. We know this is a deficit, and one we take seriously, even if that's not obvious from the outside.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tatanka
    replied
    Originally posted by Aaron View Post

    BC4 supports this style of line break insertion as part of the File Format, Conversion tab, "characters per line limit" set to 80.
    Doesn't work when there is a conversion running on the text, like the HTML-to-Text format script. You get a "Could not find delimiter" error.

    I have no clue how complicated you guys coded the "core of the program", but your management team has prioritized other features to sell, like 3-way folder compare, over this very basic feature. This feature has been waiting by your customers for over a decade and your "deliverable quality" criteria sure didn't stop you from failing to catch a bug in your 4.2.8.23425 build. And your statement of , "We've actively WORKED [emphasis added] on wrapping over the years" doesn't give any confidence to your customers. It sounds like you're saying, "we're tried to, but it's hard, so we aren't doing it. Instead, we're going to work on integrating with cloud storage rather than fix an oversight about a feature that has been added to every text editor tool since 1993, including Window's Notepad."

    All these people want is something that allows them to see even the most basic level of wrapping. All we need is the ability to have the height of the cell adjust to the contents of the text in the cell based on the width of the column, so we can see that character 4006 changed. If you have to use a TTF to do it, at least it's available to use. Getting fancier with wrapping, dealing with format differences in the text, could be improvements, heck, you could even sell the format comparisons work in the "Pro Edition". Now, do you have a plan to get a basic text wrapping feature added within the next year, or do people need to start looking at other comparison tools on the market that can do the same things as BC?

    Leave a comment:


  • Aaron
    replied
    Hello,

    We're listening to customer feedback and know this is an important feature. We've actively worked on wrapping over the years, up to and including different prototypes for wrapping styles or entire new Viewers, and are continuing with a new design to get something of a deliverable quality. When combined with all of the other comparison features and data structures in the Text Compare, it is not as simple to wrap the view as it would be in other text applications.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aaron
    replied
    Originally posted by Zingaro View Post
    Just take each string, and add a line break every 80 chars for display! I honestly can't understand how this can be so difficult.
    BC4 supports this style of line break insertion as part of the File Format, Conversion tab, "characters per line limit" set to 80.

    Leave a comment:


  • u823752
    replied
    I looked for a tool to compare text and stumbled upon 'Beyond compare'. I need the word-wrap feature, otherwise the tool is useless. This thread, more exactly the response from the devs is just ridiculous. If customers want a feature badly, they should implement it and not put them off year by year. Absolutely terrible behaviour. I will search for another solution.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aaron
    replied
    We appreciate the frustration when dealing with horizontally long files. Wrapping is something we've researched and investigated, but as you've gathered is a much larger project that it appears when it comes to loading and building the comparison. It's something still on our radar, but not likely a project we'll be able to tackle in the next few months.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zingaro
    replied
    I just want to chime in to say, I agree -- I'm absolutely baffled as well. How on earth can text wrapping be so technically complicated?! Given the extent of our technological progress, it seems downright silly to be stuck for 10 years on such a trivial aspect, even if it requires a drastic algorithm rethink.

    I'm actually genuinely curious what the technical challenges are to implementing this. You can parse the text out of an RTF and a DOCX and display the extracted text side-by-side -- ingenious and super useful -- all the data's right there in front of my face so you can obviously access it and manipulate it. Just take each string, and add a line break every 80 chars for display! I honestly can't understand how this can be so difficult.

    I'll use the HTML compare workaround in the meantime, but it's certainly bizarre. (I mean why not just use the algorithm you use to word wrap in the HTML and display it on the main screen?)

    I'm sure it's more complicated than what it seems to end users, but all problems are complicated, and all of them have solutions. It would be really great if you took the time to make this a priority for the next release, hopefully within a few months.

    Leave a comment:


  • technoeditor
    replied
    Originally posted by David.P View Post
    So I just downloaded the trial and loaded my two paragraphs of text I wanted to compare.

    However, on both sides in Beyond Compare, the respective text paragraph was squished into one line, and I could only see like 10% of every paragraph.

    Well I thought, that must be a case for that text wrap button on the toolbar.

    However, there seemed to be no text wrap button.

    Okay, then it must be in the settings.

    I started looking all over the settings for the text wrap setting.

    However, there seemed to be no such setting

    I still was sure that I only had overlooked it, however was already getting a little angry, because the ability of wrapping text paragraphs of every program in this galaxy since like 20 years was so hard to activate in Beyond Compare.

    Okay so I went on the Internets, about to look up where this damn setting was hidden.

    Sure enough I was taken to this thread.

    And my ears couldn't believe their eyes what I found here.

    Are you ******* serious??? This is 2019, and you can't do ******* text wrap?!? In one of the supposedly leading comparing tools of this planet??

    Sorry but this kind of anachronism leaves me shaking my head and questioning the future of humanity. This is unbefuckinglievable.

    Profanity language indended, because obviously you guys otherwise don't get it, particularly looking at the fact that this has been legitimately requested by users for literally decades.

    Sorry guys, of course it's not meant personally.

    I know what you mean, I've been using Beyond Compare for a long while now and it's unbelievable that it doesn't have Word Wrapping. Of all the super advanced features, I would have thought basic word wrapping would be the easiest when doing simple text compare.

    Leave a comment:


  • technoeditor
    replied
    David

    Leave a comment:


  • David.P
    replied
    So I just downloaded the trial and loaded my two paragraphs of text I wanted to compare.

    However, on both sides in Beyond Compare, the respective text paragraph was squished into one line, and I could only see like 10% of every paragraph.

    Well I thought, that must be a case for that text wrap button on the toolbar.

    However, there seemed to be no text wrap button.

    Okay, then it must be in the settings.

    I started looking all over the settings for the text wrap setting.

    However, there seemed to be no such setting

    I still was sure that I only had overlooked it, however was already getting a little angry, because the ability of wrapping text paragraphs of every program in this galaxy since like 20 years was so hard to activate in Beyond Compare.

    Okay so I went on the Internets, about to look up where this damn setting was hidden.

    Sure enough I was taken to this thread.

    And my ears couldn't believe their eyes what I found here.

    Are you ******* serious??? This is 2019, and you can't do ******* text wrap?!? In one of the supposedly leading comparing tools of this planet??

    Sorry but this kind of anachronism leaves me shaking my head and questioning the future of humanity. This is unbefuckinglievable.

    Profanity language indended, because obviously you guys otherwise don't get it, particularly looking at the fact that this has been legitimately requested by users for literally decades.

    Sorry guys, of course it's not meant personally.
    Last edited by David.P; 10-Feb-2019, 08:22 AM. Reason: typo

    Leave a comment:


  • patch
    replied
    Originally posted by Aaron View Post
    ...correct: it's not an easy implementation and comparison ties into the core of the program.
    Given the difficulty in implementing the desired solution, how long it has been on the too do list, and the likelihood the preferred solution will be implemented within the short or planned future. Implementing easier to achieve interim solution(s) to improvement in the current capability is highly desirable.

    Suggestion:
    1. Sentence compare filter which forgoes editing within beyond compare. The filter should remove line breaks within sentences (single <cr> or <lf>) then insert paragraph breaks at the end of sentences. Double paragraph breaks should be retained as they corresponded to meaningful white space in the original document.
    2. Automate other recommended work arounds such as the suggestion listed two posts above.
    3. Enable the user to readily choose which (imperfect) text compare they use on each document.

    Core changes are not going to happen in the short term. Working within the limitations of the current core feature set is still a useful approach in the interim rather than saying we can't do what we really want to do, so wont offer any support within beyond compare 4.
    Last edited by patch; 26-Jan-2019, 06:22 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aaron
    replied
    These are both recommended workarounds, and while not intended to be best case solutions can definitely help people. Thanks for concisely posting setup instructions. And correct: it's not an easy implementation and comparison ties into the core of the program.

    Leave a comment:


  • andycoggins
    replied
    I joined Scootersoftware simply to say how much I like this product. I've used it for about 5 or 6 years now. The lack of Viewer Word Wrap bugs me too, but after spending about 3 hours studying and trying everyone's solutions posted in this Forum, I've hit on the 2 that work best for me.

    A lot of what I have to do is compare 2 paragraphs, so I open a blank BC4 Text Compare window, and paste into the Left and Right panes. BC4 automatically compares them, but they are presented on one long line.

    By creating an HTML Report (Session->Text Compare Report, select Side-by-side, All, HTML, Use color stylesheet (embedded), Allow Word Wrapping, then Click View in Browser) and it automatically opens a very readable side-by-side, text-wrapped report so I can quickly see the differences - all without me having to create separate Left and Right text files. If the side-by-side doesn't work for you, then the Interleaved Report Layout shows an over-and-under view.

    You can also get a line truncated view in the BC4 viewer panes that approximates a line wrap, but you have to create a dummy File Format first (and you need a L & R file on disk). (Tools->File Formats, then hit the + sign (New – based on “Everything Else”), changed the Char Limit to 115 (or whatever), I left the General->Mask blank (so it wouldn't truncate any file I happened to open later), then “Save As” and named it Text-NoFile-115charWide).

    Then, I opened the Left and Right text files using the little File Open icon to the right of the FileName box (at this point, each still presented as one long line). Then I hit the little arrow next to the Format button with the gear icon on the main toolbar, selected “Text-NoFile-115CharWide”, and the text wrapped appropriately.

    With these 2 techniques, I can get by with most things. But I eagerly await Word Wrap View too. For it to be taking this long, to implement Word Wrap sounds like Scooter must change the core of how they compare text. Maybe the compare function is tightly coupled with the viewer. Maybe they could create a smaller side-by-side word wrap view to satisfy 95% of the cases, something that would do the gigantic, high-speed comparison in the background with an option to show the first couple of thousand lines in wrapped view or something.

    Anyhow, really enjoy the product.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aaron
    replied
    Hello,

    One quick thing to point out: the line breaks presented in the display when lines exceed the Character line limit are removed during the Save. The output should be in the original format and not break any code.

    This is not ideal compared to a full line wrapping solution, since the internal line breaks effect the comparison, but any edit or merge output should be presented back in the original structuring. A displayed line wrap is something we would like to tackle, but is a very large project.

    A side note is that the Characters per line limit can also be increased to try and avoid these breaks entirely, in the Tools menu -> File Formats, select your specific format, and in the Conversion tab increase the limit of characters allowed per line (default 4096).

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X