Use Winmerge with AnkhSVN

That’s not a suggestion.

If you use AnkhSVN but haven’t already set up AnkhSVN to use Winmerge for merging and comparing, do it immediately (it’s much better than the default tool, and it’s free):

  1. Install Winmerge
  2. Open up Visual Studio and choose Tools > Options.
  3. Expand Source Control (if you can’t see it, make sure you have “show all settings” ticked)
  4. Choose Subversion User Tools
  5. For External Diff Tool and External Merge Tool, choose Winmerge.

Now you can diff and merge files (and whole folders – handy when production and source control get out of sync!) easily:

Hint: hold ALT and use the arrow keys. Up and down move you between changes, left and right copies the change from one document to the other. This allows you to find and merge the changes you need in seconds.


5 Responses to Use Winmerge with AnkhSVN

  1. Nicola Achille says:

    Nice tip! Thk

  2. mgowen says:

    Diffmerge is useful for those SVN 3-way merges, but it doesn’t seem as “smart” as Winmerge – it sometime gets it wrong (e.g.: misses similarites between two files that are obvious to humans, marking identical bits as different, etc)

  3. Bert Huijben says:

    I would recommend using SourceGear Diffmerge for merges instead of Winmerge as that allows performing full 3-way merge. Which makes handling conflicts at least ten times easier then when you use a 2-way merge.

    You can download diffmerge (for free) on

  4. Sander Rijken says:

    If you think WinMerge is good, try DiffMerge. Also note that in the merge dropdown it says “(2 way)”. This means that it’s not able to do a 3-way merge, something you need for effective conflict resolution.

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