How To Install and Use WinDiff To Compare Files?

WinDiff is a tool used to compare files and directories. Diffing can be used to show differences between two specified files. WinDiff is not a tool that is provided by default for Windows 7 operating system. The Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4 should be installed to use WinDiff.

Download WinDiff

The following link can be used to download Windows 7 SDK and install the WinDiff tool. On the opened web page click the Download button below.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8279

Download Windows 7 SDK

Install WinDiff

After downloading the Windows 7 SDK we should run the downloaded executable in order to install WinDiff. The following message is displayed as the first step just click OK to resume.

Windows SDK

In the following screen just click to the Next to continue the installation.

Accept the End-User License Agreement with the following step.

Specify the installation and samples folder but default paths are okay.

The WinDiff tool is provided under the Windows Native Code Development section with the Tools like below. There is no need to select other features.

The installation process is like below where required files, libraries and executables are downloaded via internet.

When the installation is completed successfully the following screen is displayed.

Open WinDiff

The WinDiff can be opened in different ways but the most practical way is using the Start Menu in order to open WinDiff.

Open WinDiff

Compare Files

Files can be compared via the File menu. Select the Compare Files... like below which opens a Select First File dialog in order to select the first file which will be compared.

Compare Files

Select First File to compare. In the following example we select the file named numbers1 .

Select First File To Compare

Then the second file is specified with the “Select Second File” diaolog box. We select the numbers2 .

Select Second File To Compare

The comparison result is displayed like below in a compact way.

Comparison Result

To display detailed comparison results click to the Expand button like below.

Display Comparison Details

We can see that different lines are colored as red. The first file contains 3 and 7 but the second file does not contains them.

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Modify Compared Files

Compared files can be modified easily. Right-click on one of the lines. then select Edit Left File to modify first file or Edit Right File to edit the second file.

WinDiff Edit Files

The related file editor is opened which is Notepad in this case. Edit the file and save it.

New changes are directly displayed in WinDiff as we added the 4 to the first file.

Comment Changes and Diffs

The differences can be commented on by using the Insert Comment via the Edit menu. The comment is not added to files and are only stored in WinDiff.

The following dialog box can be used to add new comments.

The comment is displayed a green background like below.

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