Kaleidoscope, from the creative minds behind Made By Sofa is a very helpful application that will save you time when looking for differences in your documents. It may be that you are a web designer, and need to identify changes in code from one file to another, or a budding photographer needing to figure out what changes have been made to a photo, well, Kaleidoscope can do all that for you, and more. Starting Kaleidoscope will present you with the "main window" in which all your comparing can take place. From here you can drag and drop different files, from an abundance of different sources, all bearing different file types: Your images from PhotoShop, PNG and JPG files, and also text files such as TXT files and HTML documents. You can also compare multiple sets of files at once, just hit ⌘+T and another tab will open up if you ever feel the need to multitask.
Kaleidoscope's text comparison service has been branded as text scoping. From here, you can make a comparison using a number of different methods: either in blocks, unified or fluid. The mode can be selected by three button in the lower left hand corner of the active window. The changes in the file are highlighted purple, the removed sections red and the added parts, green. Of course if this colour scheme does not seem intuitive enough for you, its fully customizable. The results provided are processed pretty quickly, and then the process of finding the altered text really is trivial because of the highlighted features.
A handy button at the top in the middle of the window, lets you swap the contents of the two panels you are viewing so that you are comparing the files the other way around, and the deleted sections are seen as being added. Also, the number of changes are listed in the bottom right corner of the window, with handy navigation arrows to quickly skip between the discrepancies in the files, really helpful in larger text files.
Image scope is the equivalent comparison service, but this time, you guessed it, for images. Kaleidoscope will alert you of any colour changes, small nudges in the overall position of the picture, and even small retouches that have been applied to photos. There are four viewing modes available in this mode
- Two-Up: The images are shown side-by-side to one another.
- One-Up: The images are overlaid on top of each other, especially useful for spotting overall movement in the picture.
- Split: Where half of each image is shown with a line down the middle, dividing them.
- Difference: Highlights the areas on one of the images that have changed so you can focus on these areas.
All of these are useful in their own unique situations and the image zooming and scrolling is responsive and capable of interpreting you multi-tough gestures if you own a Macbook or a Touch Pad.
Kaleidoscope has been built with other applications in mind, seeing as it depends on the use of these external apps for which you to copy the files you want to compare. It has integration with Mercurial, Git, and Subversion, as well as supporting numerous files formats on top of the ones mentioned earlier. You can even drag a bunch of files onto Kaleidoscope at once and it will compare all of them for you.
Kaleidoscope really is at the top if its game, with its automatic updating when files are re-saved on external applications, easy navigation, combined with great keyboards shortcuts, it really can save you tonnes of time when working with your documents on a day-to-day basis.