A useful tool that enables you to compare and merge files/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,
- compares or merges two or three text input files or directories,
- shows the differences line by line and character by character (!),
- provides an automatic merge-facility and an integrated editor for comfortable solving of merge-conflicts,
- supports Unicode, UTF-8 and other codecs, autodetection via byte-order-mark "BOM"
- supports KIO on KDE (allows accessing ftp, sftp, fish, smb etc.),
- Printing of differences,
- Manual alignment of lines,
- Automatic merging of version control history ($Log$)
- has an intuitive graphical user interface.
- Windows-Explorer integration Diff-Ext-for-KDiff3 - shell extension included in installer
- KDE-Konqueror service menu plugin
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What's New in This Release:
- Text rendering now with QTextLayout fixes the following issues
- Correct handling for variable width fonts.
- Corrected display of highlighted text with Qt4.8.x on Ubuntu and Mac.
- Improved handling of texts with both right to left and left to right languages (mixed Arabic and western texts).