Comparing user-created entries


In my experience, it’s very difficult to compare two items that you’ve created in a given software program. You know, trying to see if the first one matches the second one, or if a new entry is the same as the ones you made last year. Usually this involves loading up each of the items in its own window, and switching back and forth to visually spot the differences. If you’re trying to compare a lot of different entries or there’s a long list of settings, this can take forever.

Here are just a few situations where these comparisons often become ugly:

– Confirming that the access levels of two users are the same, except for a few intentional differences

– Checking if two web pages use the same formatting code, although the rest of the text may vary

– Verifying that all the people in your address book who work at the same company are labeled with the same address, even though their other contact details will be different

The ability to compare items — and reconcile any settings that vary between them — should really be standard practice in every software application. This feature would be a huge time saver for users, not to mention all the errors and inconsistencies that it would prevent.