Microsoft Word comparison under any platform

Sébastien Rombauts 3 years ago updated by Wolfgang Gauch 3 years ago 5

Beyond Compare 4 is able to diff text (read-only) from two docx files, under Win/Lin/Mac without Office program installed, which is very handy an quick.

But at my workplace we only own BC3, and at home I stick with SmartGit Built-in Diff Tool.

I believe this could be easily advertised as a big feature for companies that likes to put documentation into source control.

Other format like odf could be useful for other people.

I'd rather would generalize this topic to provide customizable <your-format> -> text conversion support.

PS: Git is not very good in handling binary files. For storing binary files I'd rather use SVN with its locking mechanism.

Yes Thomas, I understand.

In my personal experience, I find that many companies are still locked with MS Office (at least old companies here in France) and that the Word and Excel documents are the most commonly used in business that I know of (perhaps with PDF).

PS :

  1. Well, I've also asked for support for Git LFS to handle binary files :) And for Git LFS 2.x to handle Locks !
  2. I am using local (sometimes temporary) Git repositories to handle Word documents when I have to write one, acting as a "save with diff" efficient tool, and when you only deal with one or a few documents it works very efficiently. So no "multi-author" in this use case
  3. Also we do have a local SVN server, but it is not updated anymore, it has no shiny features like Merge Request we use with our local Gitlab, and nobody here wants to reinstall SmartSVN when we install new PC

I used a program called "Beyond Compare" for this type of situation.

Settings > Tool > Diff Tools .

And set it up so certain files would open using Beyond Compare instead of the built in compare.. Files such as images and excel documents.

That way SmartGit can continue to be perfect at doing Git stuff..

And then use another program to compare the complicated stuff that even Git itself is crap at comparing.. 

Using two specialised programs that can integrate as they do I found is better than trying to get 1 program to do both.

Sure, I am also using Beyond Compare, as stated in the very beginning of my post. My point was that for now I require two software, and I need to update two licenses.

But I get your point, and I believe that you are totally right: Beyond Compare is one of the best compare tool, and SmartGit one of the best Git GUI!

We also use these tools here (Git, SmartGit, Word, Beyond Compare), but it would be nice to get a quick overview of what changed in non-text files right from the SmartGit diff view. So I strongly support the converting approach.