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M9 1a8 8 0 1 0 0 16A8 8 0 0 0 9 1zm. How do I diff two text files in Windows Powershell? I have two text files and want to find the differences between them using Windows Powershell. Is there something similar to the Unix diff tool available? Or is there another other way I haven’t considered? I was very surprised when I tried to compare two files: an unsorted array of numbers, and the same array of numbers after sorting them.
There is no output despite the files being very different. It’s not particularly smart about it, though. Format-Custom cmdlet so be sure to enter the command as fc. Please note that many DOS utilities don’t handle UTF-8 encoding. You can also spawn a CMD process and run fc within it.
The actual command to run by cmd in the process is fc filea. You can use the DOS fc. I didn’t realize I had to specify it as “fc. Exactly what I was looking for.
Maybe I’m a complete philistine, but this seems much more useable to me. It solved my problem very nicely. The only problem is it HATES unicode. Is there any reason you can’t just use diff. I just ended up using git diff, because I already had it installed. Compare-Object produced the output I expected.
I can’t see the actual diff and more importantly, I can’t tell which line number the diff is on. When I try adding -passthru, I now can see the difference, but I lose which file the difference is in, and I still don’t get a line number. My advice, don’t use powershell to find differences in files. As someone else noted, fc works, and works a little better than compare-object, and even better is downloading and using real tools like the unix emulator that Mikeage mentioned. This is how I did it in the past, which is a manual process, that I wanted to replace with a small script.
As others have noted, if you were expecting a unix-y diff output, using the powershell diff alias would let you down hard. For another, the difference indicator is on the right, far from the content — it’s a readability nightmare. The -force argument is required because Powershell is quite precious about this particular inbuilt alias. Mainly because Powershell doesn’t understand arguments which are run together and typing, for example “rm -Force -Recurse” is a lot more effort than “rm -rf”. Powershell has some nice features, but there are some things it should just not try to do for me. 2 sets are equal if they have the same member items irrespective of order or duplications.
This severely limits its usefulness for comparing text files for differences. If the files have more than 999,999 lines then simply change the format to be wider. Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!
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