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The switching performance of the fundamental soliton, generalized soliton, Gaussian and super-Gaussian pulses in a nonlinear directional coupler is examined respectively. The fundamental soliton input shows a constant energy transmission while the pulse peak power varies, due to the fact that the peak power and the pulse width of the fundamental soliton are related to each other, thus these two parameters together resulting in a constant energy transmission. With the same peak power and a dimensionless parameter: the product of the dispersion length and coupling coefficient, the fundamental soliton, generalized soliton and Gaussian inputs will show similar transmission features. In the quasi-cw coupling case, the super-Gaussian input has much better switching performance than other pulse profiles as expected, but for the pulse coupling case, worse features will be observed due to its much broad spectrum.