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[Mac OS X] Identical lets you determine whether two files with the same name are identical

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 12.32.50 AM [1]Over the weekend, I got my hard drive replaced by a shiny new solid state drive. It’s the best thing I ever did for my MacBook: it’s running quieter, cooler, and happier. I backed up most of my important files in my email, but I definitely ended up with a couple of files that had the same name. I was able to open them both and ascertain which ones were the correct files, and which were just duplicates. If I had had a Mac app called Identical installed, however, it could have been a lot less painful.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Identical is a Mac app that lets you determine whether two different files have the same contents.

Pros

Cons

Discussion

mzl.ceknbsaa.800x500-75 [2]Here’s how it works, according to the App Store. First, the sizes are compared. If they are the same, then “the contents of the files are compared using the SHA-1 cryptographic hash function,” according to the App Store description.

In practice, even files that have identical contents can be erroneously marked as non-identical if the files have different extensions or slightly different file names. This can be a bit annoying.

You can drag and drop files to the menu bar icon for Identical to compare them. You can drag the files one at a time, or drag them together. Either way will work. Once two files have been dragged to the icon, you will see either a red sign or a green sign to indicate whether the two files are the same.

However, before downloading this app, you should probably be aware of some of its limitations. The developers recommend alternative apps, such as Gemini or Kaleidoscope, if you need a file comparison app that can scan your whole hard drive or point out the specific differences between two files. If, however, you want an app that gives you a simple “yes/no” readout, this is the tool for you.

Conclusion and download link

If you need a small, fast, and simple solution for determining whether two files have the same contents, this is an excellent solution. As long as you’re aware of the various limitations that this app has, you will find it to be a simple tool that’s simple to use. If you like your apps to run from the menu bar and not from the dock, this is an elegant solution.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.0

Supported OS: OS X 10.7 or later

Download size: 1.2 MB

Identical on Mac App Store [3]