If you ever require a flexible and full-featured tool to compare and merge folders and nearly all types of documents, Ellié Computing Merge is a good option to consider. Its Pro version is capable of comparing up to three images, text files, binary files, and folders simultaneously, which is certainly of great help when comparing and merging multiple versions of the same document.
When comparing documents, all the differences found are clearly marked using different font colors, while linking the exact locations in the documents where those differences occur. You can then decide what to do with each of the errors found either by clicking on the multiple icons provided or by using the options shown in the context menu. The latter is probably the easier way of going about it – at least until you become familiar with the layout of the interface – as the subtle differences between icons are not easy to fathom at first glance. Once all differences have been dealt with, you can merge the various versions of the document into a final, clean version of it.
Comparing and merging folders is even simpler. As it happens when comparing documents, the program will show you a summary of all the differences found – neatly categorized by color and type – in a status bar at the bottom side of the interface. When dealing with folders, you are told the number of files that are identical, those that are missing in one of the folders, and those which are somehow different even though the look the same (files with the same name but with a different modification date, for instance). Again, it is your turn to decide what to do with all the events found, and whether to merge or not both folders into a new one.
The program offers you various ways of making your comparisons and merges a bit easier. First of all, a wizard will open every time you launch the program to help you through the various stages required to perform the different comparison tasks. Secondly, ECMerge is fully customizable. Its exhaustive customization settings will allow you to create macros, workspaces, and sessions, define the various colors used to mark differences, arrange the panels in various ways, and many many more. Thus, this versatile tool is equally useful for both the sporadic user and those who require comparing documents on a regular basis.