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work with character encodings ?



Ellié Computing Merge allows you to compare ASCII, MBCS (multi-byte character set), and Unicode  text files.

The following settings apply to both text files when compared individually and text files within folders. If you specify the settings to folders, all the files will automatically use these settings rather than the default options set in the application.

Ellié Computing Merge uses the Unicode (UTF-8) format for its in-memory representation of the files that it opens because it is practical and generally spares memory (with respect to UTF-16 or UTF-32). Codepages are used at load- and save-time to translate files from their disk-based single- or multi-byte character set representations into Unicode and vice versa.

Once a file is opened, you can use the Set text output options... command from the Browse button or Side menu to change the codepage used to save the file.

  • ASCII and MBCS
    Around one hundred differents encodings are supported
  • Unicode
    Unicode files typically start with a two-byte signature (0xFFFE or 0xFEFF) or three-byte signature (0xEF, 0xBB, 0xBF) called the BOM (Byte Order Mark) that can be used by applications to determine that a file uses Unicode. The signatures for UTF-32 and UTF-7 are also detected. The identifier is not visible in text editors. This identifier can be generated when Merge saves a Unicode text files.

 By default, the encoding used to load files is taken from the Application options box in Edition panel. You can use the Reopen with encoding... menu item from Browse button menu to specify how to interpret input text.  Merge can detect almost all UTF variants with or without their signatures (not UTF-7 without the signature). If the detection fails, you can still use the box to specify the correct encoding (either by preventing the detection by checking Ignore signatures and/or by specifying the correct encoding in the combo box).

See also