Comparing Folders Of Excel Workbooks / Spreadsheets

Version 3.02 of DiffEngineX can now compare one folder of Excel files against another. Double-clicking each row under Changed Workbook Pairs will bring up the difference report for each pair of files with the same name.

Comparison of one folder of Excel spreadsheet files against another

Comparing one folder of Excel workbook files against another.


Summary Of Our Software Applications / Apps

DiffEngineX is a desktop application for Microsoft Windows which reports on the differences between Microsoft Excel workbooks (xlsx, xls, xlsb, xlsm) and selected worksheets. DiffEngineX compares Excel defined names, comments, cells and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications macros). A free 30 day trial can be downloaded from here. DiffEngineX can find the differences between two lists, but you have to get Excel to sort them first (then save changes). Excel’s sort functionality is found under its Data tab.

Selection Diff Tool is an app for Word 2013 and Excel 2013 (Office 2013, Office 365). It compares plain text. It can also be used to find the differences in two lists, even if they are unsorted. It has many powerful features such as omitting unchanged rows, lines or paragraphs and navigation from one difference to another. It is available from the Microsoft Store. is a collection of web-pages each with a slightly different layout which report on the differences between two blocks of plain text pasted in from your clipboard. As it is web-based it works for all operating systems such as Windows, Apple Mac OSX, Linux and Unix.

Compare / Difference / Diff Tool For Word & Excel 2013 (Office 2013)

Selection Diff Tool is an app for Microsoft Office 2013 that reports the differences between two plain text selections in Word 2013 and either single or multiple cell selections in Excel 2013. It is essentially a clipboard diff tool that runs in an Excel and Word task pane. It does not work with versions of Office before the 2013 release.

It provides great functionality for finding the differences between lists in both Excel and Word. You can either see all the text with the changes highlighted in red (deletions), green (additions), blue (moved up text) and gray (moved down text) or just the changes (with or without re-ordered rows and lines).

The app is not meant to be a full featured software difference utility or to take the place of DiffEngineX. DiffEngineX can compare formulae, values, Visual Basic macros, comments and defined Excel names for all versions of Microsoft Excel from 2003 to 2013.

A free trial is available from the Microsoft Store.


Free Web-based Online Tool To Find Differences In Text

In October 2012, we launched a free web-based tool to find the differences between two blocks of plain text pasted into a web-page. Its URL is .

We also ported the code to run as an app inside Word and Excel 2013. It can be obtained from the Microsoft Store.

There are many tools on the Internet to find the differences between text. Our one is a little different. It detects moved text. It sounds obvious that a text comparision tool should be able to tell the difference between deleted/added text and text simply moved around in a document, but the reality is that most don’t. They don’t because the original algorithms described in the 1970s by various universites didn’t either.

If you search around you will find that a minority of text difference utilities do spot moved text. It would be interesting to know how well this extra feature is handled.

It is easy to spot a whole, intact line or paragraph that has been moved up or down in a document. What if a paragraph has been moved up and 20% of it has been altered? What if you are interested in 6 words being moved up? Or 6 characters? You might want to specify that the minimum amount of text to be treated as a movement is 20 words to prevent spurious moves being reported.

We believe our one detects movements in a systematic way. It allows you to specify the minimum number of adjacent words or characters to be considered a move.

We allow you to specify whether it compares at the level of whole lines (or paragraphs), words or characters. It has the useful feature of allowing the user to specify that unmodified lines are omitted from its output. This allows you to quickly and easily see all the differences. It also has navigation from one difference to the next.

As it is browser based it can be used from any operating system.

Comments are welcome. Our contact page can be found here.

Compare Excel Files Tool Tested On Windows 8 RC

DiffEngineX (the Excel workbook comparison software) has been tested on the 64-bit version of Windows 8 Release Candidate.

DiffEngineX is a desktop application and, as expected, worked without problems on Windows 8. DiffEngineX is not an Excel add-in, although it does find the differences between Excel workbook files by loading them from the filesystem.

We currently offer three different downloads for DiffEngineX. Only the newest build version could successfully install its prerequisites on Windows 8.

So if you are running Windows 8, please download the newest build version of DiffEngineX.

Version 2.27 Of DiffEngineX Released

Version 2.27 of DiffEngineX is now available.

With the release of Excel 2007, Microsoft increased the maximum size of pivot tables. DiffEngineX can now load Excel workbooks containing these larger tables.

The presence of embedded Visual Basic (VBA) macros/code containing event handlers has been found to occasionally cause problems on slower computers when DiffEngineX is comparing their parent spreadsheets. This issue is now fixed in this release.

Compare Excel Spreadsheets: Align Rows With Use Alignment Plus

Difference algorithms work by finding the minimum number of differences between two sets of data.

When Align Rows is selected, DiffEngineX will insert blank rows into copies of your Excel spreadsheets in order to align similar rows. When the similarities are paired off with the same row numbers, the minimum number of differences can then be reported. If you have imported database rows in Excel, make sure you use Excel to sort the worksheets first (then Save them from the File menu) before using DiffEngineX to compare them. This is because DiffEngineX will not re-order rows in order to match them up.

DiffEngineX has two different row alignment algorithms. The checkbox “Use Alignment Plus” toggles between them.

What is the difference between the two row alignment algorithms?

before_a.xlsx and before_b.xlsx show two worksheets before row alignment. We can see both contain “Bob” and “Stuart” rows. The row in between both of them differs.

“Use Alignment Plus” Is Unchecked
rowalign_a.xlsx and rowalign_b.xlsx show the results of row alignment when “Use Alignment Plus” is unchecked. DiffEngineX has inserted a blank, yellow row in order to align the “Bob” and “Stuart” rows. The two different rows (“Robin” and “Peter”) both end up in row 3 and have been colored because they are different. DiffEngineX has done its job: it has aligned similarities and reported the minimum number of differences.

“Use Alignment Plus” Is Checked
However for those interested in database data, there is the desire that unmatched rows (“Robin” and “Peter”) don’t end up with the same rows numbers i.e. “Robin” is paired against a blank row in the sheet it is compared against and vice-versa for “Peter”. Checking “Use Alignment Plus” ensures these results are obtained. We can see “Robin” is colored red for a deleted row and “Peter” is colored green for a newly added row in rowalign_plus_a.xlsx and rowalign_plus_b.xlsx.

To summarize, “Align Rows” aligns similar rows. When “Use Alignment Plus” is checked, unmatched rows are explicitly paired with blank rows.

For most cases, only “Align Rows” needs to be used and “Align Columns” can be left unchecked.

Excel Row Alignment Explanation