The controls on this options page enable you to specify the way character encoding is used in text comparisons.

Try to auto-detect character encoding from file content

Check this option to make Merge look within files to determine the character encoding that should be used for loading and saving. If the encoding cannot be determined, the default character encoding specified below will be used.

Merge currently looks for Unicode byte-order markers at the start of files, XML and HTML encoding directives, files that appear to be validly UTF-8 encoded, and optionally for #pragma codepage directives within resource files.

Try to auto-detect character encodings in Windows Resource files

Check this option to make Merge look for and use #pragma code_page directives within Windows Resource (.rc) files. These directives are normally used to denote code page changes within a file, potentially enabling a single file to contain text encoded in a variety of different code pages (e.g. a mixture of Japanese, Chinese, Western European, etc).

If you use resource files in such a way that the #pragma code_page directives should not be used during loading and saving, perhaps because you prefer to encode the entire file in UTF-16 or UTF-8, then you should uncheck this option. If you do, make sure that you use the correct encoding to load and save the file by setting the other Merge options appropriately.

Information As of Merge 2018.5049, #pragma code_page directives are always ignored for Unicode files that begin with a byte-order mark (BOM).

Default character encoding

Choose the language or code page to use as the default character encoding for file and folder comparisons. The two adjacent radio buttons enable you to show either languages or installed code pages in this list. If you select a language in this list, the ANSI code page for that language is used as the default character encoding.


Check this option if you want to use a language’s ANSI code page. The contents of the adjacent list will change to show code pages ordered by language and country.

Code pages

Check this option if you want to choose a specific code page number to use. The contents of the adjacent list will change to show code pages ordered by code page number.