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Options Dialog Box: Converters Options: Keyboards Options: Viewers

What is a Converter?

Sometimes you may need to compare non-text data files. If you try to do this with Compare It!, you will not get a reasonable comparison picture. However, in many cases such files can be presented as plain text files.
For example, database files can be viewed as list of columnar data, text from a word processing document can be extracted with minimal formatting and so on.

Programs that can do such conversions (from non-text data to text form) are called Converters. If you have such a program, the obvious solution will be to convert your files to text before using Compare It! for the comparison. However, repeating this step manually for many files is time-consuming and tedious work.

Another example where a converter program can be useful is the preprocessing of text files. Consider the comparison of XML files with similar content but different source formatting. A converter could apply some standard XML formatting to make file comparison much easier.

How Can Compare It! Help You?

You can tell Compare It! to automatically preprocess files of a certain type with the specified converter program. Any program that can do format conversion without any user interaction can be used for automatic preprocessing with Compare It!

Built-in converters

Compare It comes with set of ready-to-use built-in converters; you can always disable some of them, if you do not need it, or modify their files mask. For detailed description of built-in converters read this

To define a Converter:

  1. Choose Options > Options.
    The Options dialog box appears.
  2. In the Options box, click Converters.
  3. Click the Add button.
  4. In the Name field, enter an optional name for the converter.
  5. Use the Mask field to specify which types of files this Converter will preprocess.
  6. In the Command field, use the browse button to select the Converter program.
  7. Use the Arguments field to specify parameters for the Converter.
    Placeholders {$Source_File} and {$Converted_File} will be replaced by the appropriate file names with full path.

Note : You cannot edit converted files in Compare It!, since saving a file in text form will destroy the original file. If a file was converted, Compare It! shows a "converter applied" icon Converter applied in the title bar of the source or target pane.

Controlling Converters usage

Each converter can be in one of three states:

  • Active: Converter will be automatically applied for specified files. If autodetect option is available and set, it will be also applied for files with unknown extension, if format matches. Converter can also be selected manually
  • Disabled : Converter will never be used for specified files. It can only be selected manually from menu
  • Hidden : Converter is not applied automatically, and it's removed from menu, so you can not select it manually. Main purpose for this mode is to hide unused built-in converters.

Where to find Converters?

First place to look for converters is our site. We already have several converters ready:

  • LineSorter - to sort lines before comparison;
  • Dfm2Text - converts Delphi/Builder form files;
  • Bin2Hex - converts binary files (*.exe, *.dll) to readable hex dump. Useful to compare binary files of same size;
  • Ini Sorter - helps you to compare ini files by sorting keys and sections, while keeping structure and comments;

Next step in your quest for converter will be search in major search engine. Suggest you are looking for converter from dbf database format to text. Try searching for dbftotxt, dbftotext, dbf2txt, dbf2text. For wide spread formats there is a good chance that such tool already exist.

Finally you can contact us and ask for converter development. We will research possibilities of your format conversion and will try to do this for reasonable price.

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