Using Dreamweaver and a third party editor
to compare the code of two files


There will be times that you want to see what differences there are between the code of two files. This is how to do it using Dreamweaver and a third party text editor that you will specify in Preferences, an editor that can compare the text from two files. Dreamweaver does not have that capability but provides the means to accomplish it by quickly opening two selected files in the Dreamweaver Files panel in a third party editor that can do the comparison. Here is Adobe's information about the procedure that I have attempted to further elucidate below.

The steps to take

  1. Install either of the following (there may be other text editors that can be used for file comparisons, I have not tested them; the Adobe site lists TextWrangler, which is no longer supported.
    • Notepad++ (for Windows only) - I did not test this, but it is listed at Adobe site.
    • BBEdit (for Macs) - click on the Free Download button
  2. Open Dreamweaver Preferences
  3. Select the Category: File Compare
  4. Click the Browse button
  5. Select the the program you installed (Windows++ or BBEdit)
    1. On a Mac it will be in the Applications folder
    2. In Windows it will be in one of the Programs folders.
  6. In the Files panel in Dreamweaver, select the two files that you want to compare using Ctrl-click (Win) or ⌘-click (Mac).
  7. Right-click on either one of the two selected files.
  8. Select Compare Local Files
  9. The two files ought to open in the selected app.
  10. BBEdit requires you to then:
    • Select both files in the left side column then use the menu.
    • Search > Find Differences
    • Select the options you want to use
    • Click Text Comparison
  11. Sorry but I did not test Notepad++ and therefore have no specific instructions for using it.

Important note for Mac users

©2019 Dan Vaughan