Visual Studio Comparison Tools is a add-in for Visual Studio which uses external tools to compare files, folders and clipboard. Features: Comparing two files, selecting folders for comparison from the solution explorer and comparing (and merging)
clipboard to a file or selected area in a file
Visual Studio Gallery Page:
Extension Installation (For VS 2010/2012/2013)
- Requires a comparison util such as WinMerge
- Tested with WinMerge and Beyond Compare 3. Write to the comments if you encounter problems setting up other tools!
Add-In Installation (For VS 2005/2008/2010/2012/2013)
- Install through visual studio Extension Manager or by double clicking the vsix file
- Running the setup will copy files "VisualStudioComparisonTools.dll" and "VisualStudioComparisonTools.addin" to Visual Studio's add-in directory. The VisualStudioComparisonTools add-in can be used next time Visual Studio is restarted.
Configuration for Add-In
- Compare to Clipboard has two different compare modes:
- Clipboard to File comparison
- Right click text in the editor and select "Compare with clipboard". The active file will be saved.
- Winmerge will open and changes from the clipboard (right panel, read only) can be merged to the file (left panel).
- Saving will save the changes to the real file.
- Clipboard to Text editor selection comparison
- Select text in a file. Right click the selected text and select "Compare with clipboard". The active file will be saved.
- Winmerge will open and changes from the clipboard (right panel, read only) can be merged to the selection (left panel).
- Saving and exiting winmerge will merge the changes inside the selection to the file where the selection was.
- Compare selected files shows up when two files are selected in the solution explorer.
- The comparison is done totally in the merge tool and both files are editable.
- Compare selected folders shows up when two directories are selected in the solution explorer.
- The comparison is done totally in the merge tool.
Problems with Add-In
- Configuration file can be found from Environment.SpecialFolder.CommonApplicationData \ VisualStudioComparisonTools\ config.xml
- (In Vista and Windows 7: C:\ProgramData\Visual Studio Comparison Tools)
- Comparison tool exe path
- Doesn't anymore need to be WinMerge
- Default: C:\Program Files (x86)\WinMerge\WinMergeU.exe
- If not found from the default folder, tries to find it from both Program Files or Program Files (x86)
- Parameters to the comparison tool (see example from the configuration file)
- Tags which will be replaced by the add-in:
- [%File1%] First filename to compare
- [%File2%] Second filename to compare
- [%SELECTION_FILENAME%] (file name used in the title in winmerge, when comparing selection from a file instead of the full file
- [%SELECTION_TITLE%] WinMerge's title arguments when comparing selection of a file
- [%CLIPBOARD_TITLE%] WinMerge's title arguments when comparing clipboard
- VisualStudioComparisonTools will use system temp directory to store temporary files, but it can be configured to store them solution's directory under _VisualStudioComparisonTools folder
Other used libraries
- If the "Compare to Clipboard" text doesn't appear in the right click context menu, try the following:
- Go to the command prompt. Go to the location of devenv.exe (for example "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE")
- Write "devenv.exe /resetaddin VisualStudioComparisonTools.Connect" and press enter.
- If you encounter any problems, copy the file "VisualStudioComparisonTools.dll.log4net" and log4net.dll from the application directory to the location of devenv.exe. A VisualStudioComparisonTools-log.txt file will be created.
- Visual studio 2013:
- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE
- Visual studio 2012:
- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE
- Visual studio 2010:
- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE
- Visual studio 2008:
- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE
- Visual Studio 2005
- C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE