Confessions of a Wall Street Programmer

practical ideas (and perhaps some uncommon knowledge) on software architecture, design, construction and testing

Beyond Compare

I’ve been a happy user of Beyond Compare on Windows for many years, so one of my big concerns when switching to Mac a while ago was, what was I going to use in its place?

Well, for once I got the timing right – Scooter Software released an alpha version of Beyond Compare for Mac right around the time I made the switch. (And a good thing, too! I tried everything else out there, and nothing else even comes close).

So, what is Beyond Compare? It’s a comparison program that does visual “diffs” of directories and files. I use it to backup and sync my machines, for reviewing changes prior to commit, and in general just to keep track of what I’ve changed as I work. If you’ve never used a visual diff like BC, trust me, your life could get a whole lot easier.

It’s now out in public beta, and comes highly recommended ( – it’s saved my tuchis more times than I can count.