Tag Archives: UEStudio

Spot the difference

To supplement my review of UEStudio v12 last month, I’ve now taken a look at the companion product UltraCompare Professional v8.3 from IDM Computer Solutions. First impressions are good but with some room for improvement.

Folder SyncAs stated on the IDM website, UltraCompare Professional is a folder/file compare utility loaded with features to enable you to compare text files and folders, Word documents, and even zip files and jar archives. It’s much more powerful than the lite version supplied with UEStudio and UltraEdit with some very worthwhile features. My highlights include;

  • compare text files (obviously)
  • compare binary files
  • colour coded highlighting
  • merge lines or blocks of text
  • compare and synchronise folders
  • tabbed sessions

Looking at the detail shows how powerful this utility application is, including being able to compare files over FTP, 3-way compare, web page compare (by typing the URL) and the option to save favourite files and folders.

Synchronise FoldersThere is also built-in support for comparing native Microsoft Word documents (.doc and .docx) to highlight differences in text content. If merged, the files can only be saved as unformatted text but it is a useful tool for identifying minor changes to a large document which would be difficult to find by other means. If you write your documentation in Word this would be an ideal way of checking for version differences

UltraCompare includes a useful print function for file or folder listings but the print preview doesn’t provide an option to switch to landscape mode which, considering the width required for side-by-side comparison, would have been helpful.

Duplicate File Finder

UltraCompare includes a duplicate file finder that provides the ability to find duplicate files based on Find Duplicatesname, size or binary content by selecting and comparing two folders. This is accessed from the File->Find Duplicates menu option which then opens a dialogue box to set the search criteria. Clicking ‘Start’ runs the comparison and the view switches to the Results Report tab. The duplicate file finder needs some minor tweaks on the user interface as on my screen the identified duplicate files are listed in a cramped left pane, making it difficult to scan through them. The dialogue window itself can be re-sized thereby widening this pane but the re-sizing is not remembered for the next time it’s used.

Duplicate files can be deleted by selecting the associated check boxes and clicking ‘Delete Checked’. This requires stepping through each set of duplicates to delete as you go, as there’s no option to select and delete multiple duplicates i.e. it doesn’t retain the check box state between sets for a final bulk delete operation.

The other frustration for a new user is the lack of a local help file. Using help opens a web page on the IDM website which is not ideal and can be tiresome to navigate and use.

Despite these issues UltraCompare Professional v8.3 is a very competent file and folder comparison tool that goes well beyond the basics offered by many others. Its main competitor for file/ folder comparison is Beyond Compare which is priced similarly but for users of either UltraEdit or UEStudio the built-in integration of UltraCompare with each of these, and the extra features, make it more appealing.

UltraCompare Professional v8.30 is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and can be downloaded from the IDM Computer Solutions website as a 30 day trial and purchased for $49.95

[s3r star=4/5]

Right to reply: I received a response to this review from Rich at IDM Computer Solutions, who made some valid points in regard to the online help system.

“The online help allows users to access the latest documentation in their language according to their favored platform.  Our user community at large has welcomed this across our product line.  What is also noteworthy about our online help is that will allow you to download any topic or print a topic or for that matter – the entire manual.  In fact, we purchased a specific online help back-end solution to especially provide these benefits to our users. The online help is also integrated with our localization software and provider so new content is essentially provided to our user community in real time, vs only available in software upgrades.” – Richard L. Knott, IDM Computer Solutions

Save the environment (no, not that one)

I’ve been looking for a general purpose IDE and text editor that I can use for writing simple C++ applications but also when playing around with Visual Basic, HTML, CSS and some legacy code written in Fortran (yes I am that old). There are a few contenders and I like Code::Blocks for C++ and EditPlus is a good all rounder with user tools capabilities and syntax highlighting as well as being a good notepad replacement. Notepad++ also has some very good features and is open source.

And then there’s UEStudio v12 by IDM Computer Solutions, which as they say is ‘feature rich’. An understatement if ever there was one and potentially it’s overwhelming but the saving grace is that it can be fully customised into what IDM call ‘Environments’. This means that with a couple of clicks the IDE/ editor will re-configure to suit your needs, from Power User to Notepad Replacement. You can edit the built-in environments or create new ones of your own.

Not surprisingly, I found that on first installing UEStudio, support for Fortan syntax highlighting was not included but I quickly found a supporting file (called wordfile) on the IDM website to download and copy to my wordfiles directory. Simple as that and there are hundreds of such files available for almost any language you can think of.

UEStudioUEStudio is a fully integrated development environment supporting over 30 compilers and assemblers, although these need to be installed separately and are not part of the package. A Quick Start Guide and online tutorials and tips are provided for many common tasks and there is also an active user forum.

I’ve seen complaints that it can be hard to find your way around UEStudio, which may be true at first, but once you’ve set up each environment for whatever uses you have, then its complexity is not a problem.

I’m still evaluating UEStudio but so far some of the features that I like are;

  • Environments
  • Project management
  • Ability to compile, build and debug within the application
  • Built-in FTP client
  • HTML preview
  • CSS style builder
  • Huge number of customisation options (including toolbars and menu items)

IDM Computer Solutions also sell UltraEdit which is the same as UEStudio but without the IDE features and UltraCompare, which is an advanced file/ folder compare utility. I’ve not tried UltraComapre as there’s a built in Lite version with UEStudio but as you’d expect the professional version provides many additional features.

With a little more effort to learn its extensive capabilities, UEStudio is a strong contender to be my favourite editor/ IDE and notepad replacement.

A fully functional trial can be downloaded from the IDM Computer Solutions website. At £50 it’s not cheap but if you need a professional level text/ HEX editor and IDE, then UEStudio v12 is definitely worth a look.

[s3r star=4.5/5]