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Access hidden directories / files with program (Beyond Compare)

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  • Access hidden directories / files with program (Beyond Compare)

    I asked this question on the linuxmint forum.
    "I have installed Beyond Compare (BC) onto Mint 18.3 Cinnamon. The program runs fine. I have a couple of text files in my downloads directory that I want to compare to a couple of files in one of my hidden directories (specifically the .Mozilla) directory). I can access the file in the downloads with BC without any problem but I can't find the hidden directories with BC. I know they are there - when I go into File Manager - there they are. Am I supposed to run BC with special rights or set myself up in the terminal as a super user? I know there has to be a simple answer."

    And received the following answer (which works)
    "Hidden files have no special status other than the convention used by file managers and such to not show such files by default unless toggled (file managers have a menu option to toggle to view hidden files and usually a keyboard shortcut for it like Ctrl+H). You don't need special rights or super user or such. It's just that Beyond Compare makes this harder for you to do.

    What doesn't work is clicking the "Browse for Folder" button to the right of the directory box. At least I couldn't find any way to make that show hidden directories.

    What does work is selecting the parent directory in which the hidden directory is located. For example selecting your home directory if that is where it is. Then click the directory box and you can type at the end of it to add to it and press Enter to change to it. So if you've selected your home directory with the "Browse for Folder" button and the directory box displays /home/username you can just click on it and add to it like /home/username/.local or whatever.

    What also works is starting bcompare from the terminal with as arguments the directories you want to compare:
    bcompare ~/Documents ~/.local
    That happily compares the contents of the Documents directory in my home directory (~ is expanded by the command interpreter to /home/username) with the hidden directory .local in my home directory."

    This seems awkward. Are there plans to change this behavior so it is easier to select folders and files?


  • #2

    Ctrl+H is one possible command, but some Linux versions use different hotkey commands. Does Ctrl+H work in the native file Explorer? Or is it F8? BC4 should use the corresponding command. It is also sometimes hidden under the right-click context menu (Show Hidden).

    Also, BC4 has two different Browse dialogs. Click the dropdown next to the yellow folder Browse button to select:
    Browse Using File System
    Browse Using Profile

    The File System dialog should function identically to the native file Explorer. Browse Using Profile does not currently support the show hidden toggle.
    Aaron P Scooter Software