Compare files with FileMerge.

If you spend most of your day coding, or even looking at copious amounts of text and characters, there’s probably a good chance that you’ve recently had to revert some revisions, or even had to figure out the differences between multiple versions.

There’s nothing worse then working on a file with a group of people, when someone decides to change some code or text on you (sorry brad!) and you have absolutely no idea what needs to be switched back.

Most coders use some sort of SVN, but some of us couldn’t be bothered. Why would we install an SVN when we have access to Apple’s FileMerge tool for free. Please note the sarcasm. I know there’s plenty of good reasons for an SVN and don’t need more hate mail. I get enough!

Anyway, File merge is a simple little application that lets you compare two text files and find the differences between the two files.

It’s nothing earthshattering, but it’ll let you know if some douche (again, sorry Brad) added a stupid semi colon when he really needed a question mark. I found the mistake immediately, and saved myself hours of checking my code line by line.

FileMerge is free and comes on the Xcode install discs that ship with all those new Macs out there. There’s a good chance you have the discs kicking around somewhere, and if you don’t you can get it for free from Apple’s Developer website.

Below is a quick example comparing two ancient header files from an even more ancient OS Commerce website (Note: Ugh, table layouts FTL).

Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio