Comparing Folders
Folder Synchronization

Folder Synchronization

You can synchronize two folders using:

  • Fine-grained synchronization operations—such as Copy, Move, and Delete—performed on individual or selected resources.
  • High-level 2-way synchronization operations, such as Update and Mirror

Synchronizing Using Copy, Move, & Delete Ops

You can arrive at your desired synchronization results by using any combination of three basic sync ops—Copy, Move and Delete.

The following example illustrates the steps involved in making the Modified folder hierarchy the same as the Reference:

  • Start by selecting and comparing the folder hierarchies you wish to synchronize.
  • If there are files present only in the Reference folder, they'd be reported as deleted and the little orange rectangle with a minus sign on the status bar would show their count. You'd want to copy those from the Reference to the Modified folder hierarchy; to do that, right-click and choose Select > Deleted. Right-click on one of the selected items in the first hierarchy, then click on Copy Selected from Reference to Modified.
  • Next, if there are changed files, you'd want to copy them from Reference to Modified: Ctrl+click/right-click and choose Select > Changed, then copy the selection from first to second as in the previous step.
  • Finally, if there are files present only in the Modified folder, you'd want to delete them. Do that by going to "Select Added", then Ctrl+click/right-click on a selected file in the Modified folder hierarchy. Then, choose Delete Selected... or hit the Delete key.

When the copy or move op involves overwriting existing files, you want to be certain that the files being overwritten don't contain valuable changes. It is not uncommon that two folder hierarchies have been changed independently and both branches contain valuable changes. The safest approach is to analyze carefully the changed files and, if necessary, manually merge them. Comparing and merging changed files with DeltaWalker is easy—just double-click on them from your folder comparison window and they'll open for comparison.

DeltaWalker presents you with everything you need to make informed and confident merge and synchronization decisions; it also offers the tools to carry out these decisions with the least amount of effort.

Synchronizing Using Update & Mirror Ops

Sometimes referred to as a single-click synchronization, other times as an automated two-way synchronization, the Update and Mirror ops offer you the following easy, high-level synchronization ops. The meaning of the individual sync ops is as follows:

  • Update Reference - newer and orphan resources from Modified are copied to Reference.
  • Update Modified - newer and orphan resources from Reference are copied to Modified.
  • Update Both - newer and orphan files are copied from each side to the other.
  • Make Reference same as Modified - Reference folder is made identical to Modified.
  • Make Modified same as Reference - Modified folder is made identical to Reference.

To perform one of the above sync ops, select it from the dropdown menu. then take a look at the info panel to ensure that the number of files and the involved sub-operations are roughly what you'd expect them to be. Once you're satisfied with the projections, click the Sync button to perform the selected op.

macOS Resource Forks

A resource fork is a macOS file system (HFS+) construct used to store structured data in a file, alongside unstructured data stored within the data fork.

DeltaWalker offers the following support for Resource Forks (RF):

  • Sync operations such as copy and move are aware of RFs and, when present, copy/move them along with the the files' data forks.
  • The Permissions folder comparison tree column shows '@' at the end for files with RFs (see screenshot).
  • Tooltips for files with RFs show the size of RF (see screenshot).
  • Byte-by-byte comparison of files with RFs includes data fork comparison and resource fork comparison (if the data forks are the same).

Resource forks

See Also