#VS2015 – Compare 2 external files in Visual Studio from the IDE


Visual Studio 2013 file comparison tool can be considered “first citizen tool”. Before I used to use WinMerge, or another tool to compare.

What is still missing in the IDE is a small menu that allows us to select 2 files and compare them. From command line, you can do it with

devenv.exe /diff    Compares two files.  Takes four parameters:
SourceFile, TargetFile, SourceDisplayName(optional),

And after launching a command like

devenv.exe /diff “e:\source.txt” “e:\target.txt” “SOURCE” “TARGET”

But within the IDE, things change a little. Instead of launching the command from the Command Prompt, we can do it from the command window with a syntax of style

> Tools.DiffFiles SourceFile, TargetFile

Live sample

2015 12 22 Compare from Command Window

Greetings @ Madrid


-El Bruno



  1. Thank you for sharing this article. It was a slick tool that I never knew existed. I even love the intellisense on the file system, really COOL!


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