CLion 2019.1 Help

Compare Files and Folders

CLion lets you review the differences between any two files, folders, text sources, or database objects, as well as between local files and their repository versions.

Compare files

CLion displays the differences in the Differences Viewer for Files:

comparing files

To apply changes use the chevron buttons chevron button right chevron button left.

To append changes, press Ctrl (for Windows and Linux) or (for macOS): the chevron button right chevron button left buttons will turn to chevron button bottom right chevron button bottom left.

Compare two files

  1. Select the files you want to compare in the Project tool window.

  2. From the context menu, choose Compare Files, or press Ctrl+D.

You can also select one file, choose Compare With from the context menu, and select a file that is outside your project.

Compare active editor with Clipboard

  • Right-click anywhere in the editor and choose Compare with Clipboard from the context menu.

Compare active editor with a project file

  1. Right-click the file you want to compare with the currently opened file in the Project tool window.

  2. Choose Compare File with Editor from the context menu.

Compare active editor with any file

If you often need to compare files that are outside your project with the active editor, or don't want to have the Project tool window open, you can use the Compare File with Editor option that lets you choose any file and compare it with the active editor.

To add this action to the editor tab's context menu:

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), click Menus and Toolbars under Appearance and Behavior.

  2. In the right pane, expand the Editor Tab Popup Menu node, click Add After, and choose the Compare File with Editor action under Version Control Systems | Diff & Merge.

Compare a local file with its repository version

  1. Select a modified file anywhere in the Version Control tool window.

  2. Click the Open Diff button on the toolbar or press Ctrl+D.

Productivity tips

Assign shortcuts for 'apply' and 'append'

To assign shortcuts to the apply and append actions, in the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S) select Keymap on the left and locate these actions under Version Control Systems | Diff & Merge.

Swap sides

When you are comparing two files, or a file with the Cliboard contents, you can swap sides by clicking the Swap Sides button on the toolbar.

Compare folders

CLion lets you compare files in two folders against their file size, content, or timestamp. The differences are displayed in the Differences Viewer for Folders:

comparing folders

The top pane lists all files in the selected folders, while the bottom pane shows the differences between two versions of the selected file (see Compare files).

Compare folders

  1. Select the folders you want to compare in the Project tool window.

  2. From the context menu, choose Compare Directories, or press Ctrl+D.

  3. Use the following toolbar buttons to filter the list:

    • right arrow: click to display files that are present in the left folder, but are missing from the right one.

    • left arrow: click to display files that are present in the right folder, but are missing from the left one.

    • not equal sign: click to display files that are present in both folders, but whose contents, timestamp or size are different.

    • equal sign: click to display files that are present in both folders and that are identical with regard to the option selected in the Compare by dropdown.

Synchronize folders

CLion lets you sync the contents of two folders, or apply changes from one folder to another.

  1. For each file, click the icon in the * column until you've set an action to be taken on that file.

    • right arrow: copy the selected item from the left to the right folder. If such file already exists in the right folder, it will be overwritten.

    • left arrow: copy the selected item from the right to the left folder. If such file already exists in the left folder, it will be overwritten.

    • equal sign: no action will be performed (the two files are identical).

    • not equal sigh: no action will be performed (the two files are different).

    • close icon: remove the selected item.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To apply the selected action to the current item, click the Synchronize Selected button the Synchronize Selected button on the toolbar.

    • To apply the selected actions to all items, click the Synchronize All button the Synchronize All button on the toolbar.

Compare different files in two folders

Sometimes a file may be present in one folder, and another file with a similar name in the other folder (for example, VCS_library_1.4 and VCS_library_1.5). These may be versions of the same file that you want to compare. Also, there may be a situation when you think a file was renamed, but is otherwise identical to a file in another folder. CLion lets you compare two files, one of which is present in the right folder, and another one in the left even though such files are treated as different entities.

  1. Select the files you want to compare in the left and the right pane.

  2. Click the Compare New Files with Each Other icon Compare new files with each other button on the toolbar. The differences between the selected files will be displayed in the bottom pane.

Compare any text sources

Apart from comparing files' or folders' contents, you can open an empty Differences Viewer and paste any text or drag files into the right and left panels to compare. This can be useful, for example, if you want to compare an application's console output with the output of the same application albeit a little modified.

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+A and look for the Open Blank Diff Window action.

  2. Paste any text you want to compare in the left and right panels.

Productivity tips

Assign a shortcut for the 'Open Blank Diff' action

In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S) select Keymap and locate this action under Version Control Systems | Diff & Merge.

Swap sides

You can swap sides in the Diff Viewer by pressing the swap sides icon on the toolbar.

Last modified: 2 July 2019

See Also