Since much of my day is devoted to slaving over a hot Mac keyboard (a reference to my mother who slaved over a hot stove in the family restaurant on Chicago’s south side), I’ve come to appreciate utilities that make short work of a tedious problem.
For example, if you want to rename a few hundred or a thousand files in a folder you really need to have an app like Renamerox. What if you have a folder full of files and you want to compare the files in that folder with files in another folder? Let the tedium begin. Or, use this app.
As much as I appreciate the work Apple put into updating the Finder, renaming more than a handful of files is pure tedium. Likewise, comparing a list of files in a folder with files in another folder is nothing short of another type of tedium, but tedious nonetheless.
Is there an app for that? Yep. And, it’s been cleverly named Compare Folders because, well, it compares files within two folders.
The way Compare Folders compares files in folders is rather straightforward and while the initial learning curve isn’t much, there are enough features that even Mac geeks will be impressed with how much time can be saved.
The app works with the time honored Left folder and Right method. Select a folder of files. Then select a second folder of files (ostensibly similar files, otherwise, what’s the point?). Compare Folders displays a list of of the files in each folder and details their differences.
That means it looks at all the characteristics of each file in a folder and compares it with similarly named files in the other folder by looking into name, subfolders, creation date, modification date, file permissions, and more.
Compare Folders gives you one-click options, toggles actually, to exclude identical items, exclude only those with permission differences, exclude creation and modification date differences, and even exclude (or, include– it’s a toggle) specific files, folders, symLinks and even hidden files. Filters are employed immediately so you’ll always be able to see what’s what with just a click.
Files within the two folders which are the same will be highlight, spreadsheet types in green, while those that vary according to the filtered parameters, will be highlighted in red.
You get all that for free.
For a few bucks more, Compare Folders will also do file checksums for even more accuracy. The only thing missing here, and it’s not the app’s fault– an app can only do so much– is an option to highlight within the file where the differences might be, but that would vary for say, spreadsheets vs. Word documents, and be next to impossible with graphic files.
Otherwise, Compare Folders works, it’s priced right, it only does what it does, but it displays differences almost instantly, even on a set of folders with hundreds of files insides.