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KDiff3 is a program that compares or merges two or three text input files or directories.

The development of KDiff3 started because the developer had to do a difficult merge. Merging is necessary when several people work on the same files in a project. A merge can be somewhat automated, when the merge-tool not only has the new modified files (called "branches"), but also the original file (called "base"). The merge tool will automatically choose any modification that was only done in one branch. When several contributors change the same lines, then the merge tool detects a conflict which must be solved manually.

The merge then was difficult because one contributor had changed many things and corrected the indentation in many places. Another contributor also had changed much text in the same file, which resulted in several merge conflicts.

The tool I used then, only showed the changed lines, but not what had changed within these lines. And there was no information about where only the indentation was changed. The merge was a little nightmare.

So this was the start. The first version could show differences within a line and showed white space differences. Later many other features were added to increase the usefulness.

For example if you want to compare some text quickly, then you can copy it to the clipboard and paste it into either diff window.

A feature that required a big effort was the directory comparison and merge facility, which turned the program almost into a full file browser,
Last updated on July 8th, 2014

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A useful tool that enables you to compare and merge files/directories


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