What do you need to know about free software?
Beyond Compare provides users with extensive side-by-side file comparison and management. Novice users might find its interface a little overwhelming, but a visit to the Help menu provides all the necessary details for getting started.
The program consists of two interfaces. The first provides a list of sessions that you can employ, from folder comparisons to text and data comparisons. It also provides summaries of any saved sessions. Clicking a session button introduces the second interface. At first glance, the second interface was a little overwhelming, especially when the files were added. But after spending a little time with the program, we quickly got the hang of it. We browsed for two folders and instantly, the contents of each were listed in the two panels. Toolbar buttons at the top of the window let us manage the files and folders, including deleting and moving files, showing differences, and even creating rules for handling and comparing folders. Once we were finished, we were able to go back and revisit our session by selecting it on the tree menu from the first interface.
If you're new to file management, the extensive Help menu and ample 30-day trial that come with the program will get you started on the right foot. We highly recommend Beyond Compare for detailed file management.