Looking for a Windows 7 program that will take two txt files with a list of words line separated, one on each, and compare them to show at choice, those in both, those only in one, or those only in the other.

Cannot find a way to do this with diffmerge or a menu option for this in excel.

Before you jump on it, I know this kind of task can be done with programming skills, or regex, or some code in excel. I'm looking for a program that has easy straightforward way to do it with a button. Preferably Free, but if there if best alternative is not free tell me about it to know. However I would appreciate free alternatives.

Looking for it I only find those other more complicated ways to get something like this.


3 Answers 3


Notepad++ has a plugin that compares two files and colors the differences. You also get a + sign next to lines present in 1 file only and >>> sign next to altered lines. You can cycle through the differences using "next" and "previous" commands.

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That software I would usually recommend is to get Linux. Or at least get a shell with standard POSIX tools or equivalent, then it's a matter of diff <(sort file1.txt) <(sort file2.txt).

Baring that, you can use http://sortmylist.com/ to sort your text files, then http://www.quickdiff.com/ to compare them.


Would something like this be helpful? It doesn't really organize it by whether or not they match, but it's displayed pretty clearly. You could compare your two files, and it would highlight anything that's different in each, so you would be able to know what appears in only one file. If it isn't highlighted, it's in both.

It might have additional features to help with what you're trying to do, but I haven't used it for such.

  • I tried WinMerge, but, and thats part of the question, the chance that im not understanding how diff software work, if im not wrong they look not only for characters but also for positions. So if a word is in both file list but in a different line, they mark it as different. Because they dont look for line separated words, but only for the sequence of characters in the very same order in both files.
    – userwado
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 17:28
  • 1
    What is 'this'? Could you give an example of it solving the OP's issue? Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 12:18
  • This is WinMerge. I didn't think about the ordering, but what if you could sort all your words? Most programs can do this or if you have it in Excel, you can just sort the column.
    – xhocquet
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 19:57

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