Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Command line file comparison in Windows

20th August 2012

While UNIX and Linux both have the diff command for comparing the contents of text files, the Windows counterpart was unknown to me until recently. Its name is fc and it looks as if the f is for file and c is for comparison though I cannot confirm that as of now. That command and its usage is not dissimilar to the way that things work with diff. Here is an example command:

fc file1.txt file2.txt > file3.txt

This compares file1,txt with file2.txt and sends the output to file3.txt. Any differences between the two files being compared seem to be more clearly labelled than in the diff output’s < and > labels. That verbosity could have its uses but existence of the fc command is stopping envious glances at the diff one for now, just as findstr is doing the same in comparison with grep.

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