Merge Professional is the visual file comparison (diff), merging and folder synchronization application from Araxis. Use it to compare and merge source code, web pages, XML and other text files with native application performance. Directly open and compare the text from Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), OpenDocument, PDF and RTF files. Compare images and binary files. Synchronize folders. Perform code reviews and audits. Work with folder hierarchies containing thousands of files. Merge integrates with many SCM (version control) systems and other applications.
For legal and publishing professionals: instantly identify every change between different contract or manuscript drafts. Directly open and compare the text from Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), OpenDocument, PDF and RTF files. Copy text from other applications (such as Microsoft Word) and paste it directly into a text comparison window.
For software engineers and web developers: compare, understand and combine different source file versions. Work quickly and accurately, whether you are comparing individual files or reconciling entire branches of source code. Use three way comparison to integrate changes made by you, and those made by a colleague, with a common ancestor version. Synchronize a website with its staging area via ftp using the supplied ftp plugin.
For release and quality control managers: compare different source code branches to give total confidence that you know and understand every change made to every file for a specific release. Compare product releases to be certain that only the expected files have been modified. Create an html or xml report of changes for audit purposes.
For code reviewers and auditors: identify in context every change made between two or three source code hierarchies. Create a standalone html or xml report of your findings. Add bookmarks and comments to a file or folder comparison, then save it as a single file archive for emailing to other team members for review.
Other users: Whether you are working with multiple revisions of text files or need to keep multiple folder hierarchies in sync (for example, between a desktop and laptop machine), Merge could help save time and reduce errors by helping you to work quickly and accurately.
File comparison and merging
Merge enables you to compare and work with different revisions of text files, such as program source code, xml and html files. Merge can extract and compare the text from Microsoft Office, OpenDocument, PDF and RTF files. XML files can be shown with special formatting, helping you to see changes more clearly. It supports files with ascii, mbcs and Unicode character encodings. A colour coded side by side comparison makes it easy to pinpoint at a glance similarities and differences between files. Linking lines are drawn between the documents showing clearly how they are related.
Point and click merging lets you choose the parts of each file that you would like to add to a final merged version by simply clicking buttons. The in place editor with unlimited undo enables complete control over the merged file as you create it. The file comparison display dynamically updates as the merge progresses.
Merge shows detailed highlights of changes within lines. It can be configured to ignore differences in whitespace and line endings, as well as changes in lines matching specified regular expressions. The latter is useful for ignoring unimportant changes such as timestamps or expanded version control keywords.
Binary and image file comparison
Merge doesn*t just compare text files. Use image comparison to compare various types of image file and instantly see which pixels have been modified. Binary comparison enables you to identify differences in data files at a byte level.
Three way comparison and automatic merging
Merge Professional adds advanced three way visual file comparison and merging to the Standard Edition*s two way visual file comparison and merging. This is particularly useful when more than one person is working on the same set of files.
Automatic Merging enables swift reconciliation of even the largest files. Three way file comparisons can be launched directly from a three way folder comparison, allowing efficient integration of entire branches of source code.
Integrated folder hierarchy comparison and synchronization
Merge supports folder hierarchy comparison and synchronization, enabling you to compare and merge entire directory trees. This is ideal for detecting changes in different versions of source code or web pages. You can even use the efficient byte by byte comparison option to verify the contents of recordable cds or usb thumbsticks.
The Professional Edition of Merge supports three way folder comparison, enabling two revisions of a folder hierarchy to be merged with their common ancestor or some other folder hierarchy. This can be especially useful when used in conjunction with a source code control or software configuration management system.
Direct access to FTP sites and configuration management systems
An ftp plugin gives Merge file and folder comparisons direct access to files located on an ftp server. It is therefore possible to use a folder comparison to synchronize a local copy of a website*s content with the main site itself, provided the main site is running an ftp server.
Merge plugins for Perforce, Subversion and Visual SourceSafe are also provided. These give Merge read only access to files and folders located in Perforce depots, Subversion repositories and Visual SourceSafe databases. Therefore, for example, a Merge folder comparison can be used to compare a Perforce client workspace against the depot. Alternatively, different branches (or the same branch at different points in time) within a depot can be compared directly. A similar plugin for AllChange is available from Intasoft.
File comparison reports (examples: two way, three way) can be created in html, html slideshow, xml or unix diff format. html reports are particularly useful for archiving and distribution. Folder comparison reports (examples: two way, three way) can be created in html or xml format. A folder comparison report can, optionally, include file comparison reports for some or all of the files involved in the folder comparison. Thus it is possible to generate a report that is a complete record of all the differences in all of the files involved in a folder comparison. This is especially useful in code review and code audit situations, particularly as reports can be generated directly for files and folders in configuration management systems for which there is a Merge plugin.
Print support, Automation and other advanced features
Other features include the ability to print a hard copy of file and folder comparisons, and to customize the behaviour and appearance of the application, including fonts, colours, whether the display is split horizontally or vertically, and more.
A full Automation api and Command Line Interface are included, allowing close integration with other applications (such as source code control and software configuration management systems) or your workflow.
Comprehensive online documentation is supplied with the product and is also available from the Araxis website. Context sensitive help is provided for every menu item, dialog and dialog control.
Compatibility and System Requirements
At the time of writing, Araxis tests and supports Merge on the following platforms: Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit)
Windows Vista SP2 (32 bit and 64 bit)
Windows XP Professional SP3 (32 bit)
Windows Server 2008 SP2 (32 bit and 64 bit)
The following platform is also supported and expected to work, but not extensively tested: Windows Server 2003 SP2 (requires the MSXML 6 update from Microsoft to be installed)