How to compare files on Mac OS X

Questions those come into mind when someone switches from Windows to Mac OS X for web development and wants to compare files:

  • Which editor has support for file diff or file compare functionalities on Mac OS X ?
  • Which is the best tool for file comparison while developing on Mac OS X ?
  • How to use FileDiff package on Sublime Text editor ?
  • How to use File Compare functionality in Text Wrangler in mac OS X ?

After developing 4 complete years on Windows, I have recently moved into a MacBook Air. During development, one thing I was missing was the “File Compare” plug-in on Notepad++ which I was using for a long time while on Windows. Even though NotePad++ doesn’t have a Mac version, there are some alternatives to that on Mac OS X. Two editors which I find very useful are Text Wrangler and Sublime Text 3.


File Compare on Text Wrangler:

  • Open both the files on the TextWrangler editor. Did I mention, this is a free editor and best for editing text based files.
  • Now select both the files in “Opened Documents” sidebar. [ ⌘ + Click ]
  • Right click on the selected files and click on “Compare”.

How to compare two files on textWranglerCompared Differences TextWrangler


File diff on Sublime Text 3:

  • Install “Package Control” for Sublime if you haven’t yet. How to do that ?
  • Now open the package installer and install “FileDiffs“.
  • To diff. two files, open those two files in Sublime Text 3. Right click on that file tab and click on “Diff Tab”.
  • Now you can use the diff. file generated (unified) to see changes between two files.

Diff with TabUnified Diff Result


To know how to integrate DiffMerge(an application to visually compare and merge files) with Sublime Text read:

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