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  1. #1
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    Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    I teach at a university and I sometimes assign homework to be done in Excel. I just a batch turned in and I believe I have some cheating going on. Does anyone know of a utility I can use to examine two sets of files and mark exact duplicates?

    Ronny
    Ronny Richardson

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    I'd think if students were handing in the same workbook for an assignment, that they wouldn't be so totally dumb to hand in the exact same workbook but do some kind of changes to it. How close do two workbooks have to be alike to be considered the same? This all depends on the complexity of the assignment too. If it's a really simple task there aren't as many different ways to solve it as there would be for a more complex task.

    Just a thought...

    Deb

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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    Many, ..., many years ago, I taight a course in Business Data Processing at a local university.
    Back in those daze (before PCs), srudents were expected to use Fortran.

    I told the students that they were only cheating themselves by not doing, or copying, the exercises.

    The grade for the course was based on tests, other than the exercises.
    Not doing the exercises made it less likely that the students would understand the material well enough to pass, or do well, on the tests.

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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    >I'd think if students were handing in the same workbook for an assignment, that they wouldn't be so totally dumb to hand in the exact same
    >workbook but do some kind of changes to it. How close do two workbooks have to be alike to be considered the same? This all depends
    >on the complexity of the assignment too. If it's a really simple task there aren't as many different ways to solve it as there would be for
    >a more complex task.

    You would be very surprised. This assignment was fairly simple. I gave them about 40 worksheets and ask them to create a variety of charts, not a very hard or time consuming assignment. I ask them to email me their results but not to zip them into a single file. (I have good reasons for the no zip policy but they are not important here.) Two students did turn in a zip file that was the same size, had the same date, and had the same time. When I unzipped them, every file in the zip file had the same date and time and was the same size. (The dates were different so it was not the zip program resetting the dates.) Several of the files had unusual formatting that was the same for both sets and when I opened the files, every one had been saved with the cursor in the same cell.

    I actually suspect additional cheating but these were the only two students who made it so easy to spot. That is why I wanted the comparison program. The really sad thing is that this is a graduate course.

    Ronny
    Ronny Richardson

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    WS Lounge VIP sdckapr's Avatar
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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    How about the DOS cmd File compare (FC)?

    go to a DOS window/Command prompt and enter
    fc filename1.xls filename2.xls

    Here is additional info from the HELP:
    Compares two files or sets of files and displays the differences between them


    FC [/A] [/C] [/L] [/LBn] [/N] ]<!/t> </u> [/W] [/nnnn] [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2

    FC /B [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2

    /A Displays only first and last lines for each set of differences.
    /B Performs a binary comparison.
    /C Disregards the case of letters.
    /L Compares files as ASCII text.
    /LBn Sets the maximum consecutive mismatches to the specified number of lines.
    /N Displays the line numbers on an ASCII comparison.
    /T Does not expand tabs to spaces.
    /U Compare files as UNICODE text files.
    /W Compresses white space (tabs and spaces) for comparison.
    /nnnn Specifies the number of consecutive lines that must match after a mismatch.


    Steve

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    Ahhhh, good old DOS, those were the good days, when things were simple, how I miss it (and no I'm not being sarcastic).... <img src=/S/crazy.gif border=0 alt=crazy width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/cranky.gif border=0 alt=cranky width=18 height=25>

    Deb

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    Very sad indeed even more so for grad students. Let's hope that those two students don't end up prez of some big-a** company one day spouting on CNN about how they earned their way to the top. <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>

    Deb

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by WebGenii on 04-Feb-03 13:54. to add link)</P>I found a compare program at: http://www.cpearson.com/excel/download.htm (scroll down to the middle, the programs are listed alphabetically).

    I haven't used it so don't know if it works well or not.

    Deb

  9. #9
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Finding duplicate worksheets (97)

    never underestimate the stupidity of a cheater...
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
    WebGenii Home Page
    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

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