Launching a comparison
Use the Document / Comparsion/Merge / New Folder Comparison (Ctrl+M) command to open an empty Folder Comparison view or Document / Comparsion/Merge / New Comparison... (Ctrl+N) menu item to select the sources directories to use and/or the options to apply to the new document. The dialog box allows you to open side-by-side or 3 way comparisons. You can check the Merge option to start with the merge pane open.
Working with comparisons and merges
Each source folder is open and browsed in a usual tree view. The columns widths are synchronized so you do not have to resize them separately.
The differences are presented by using different background colours for the modified files. These are either added, removed or changed. You can define the colours in the Options dialog box. The status bar shows at any time the basic statistics together with the colours.
You can move in files and folders by using arrows and scrollbars.
Conflicts are displayed only in merge mode. When comparing two folders, all the differences are as well conflicts. When comparing three folders, Ellié Computing Merge can deduce in many situations what changed from the ancestor folder configuration. When the software cannot decide what to do, it defines a conflict so that your attracted to the given portion of the tree view. The Resolving conflicts in Folders section explain features to solve conflicts.
Comparing archives (ZIP, tar...)
ECMerge contains a built-in converter called Xtract which can unzip ZIP files. You do not need anything special to compare such files (as well as any renamed ZIP files format, such as Open Document format or .xslx for example), except adding the extension to the list of files to unzip in the converters options. We recommend you to install 7 Zip, it works on all the platforms supported by ECMerge and will open many more formats than just ZIPs.
Many useful options are available through the contextual right-click menu. The top level Actions menu reflects at any time the commands of the contextual menu.