Visual Studio File Comparison Settings

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 Labels: , , ,
.. In other words, how to set Beyond Compare as your file comparison tool in VSTS.

I finally got tired of the default comparison tool in Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition and went poking around to find out how to set Beyond Compare to the default instead. The default utility (WinDiff, I think?) is extremely irritating after having used BC for so many years now.

So, on the Tools | Options dialog, click on Source Control, then Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. Now, click on the "Configure User Tools..." button. Take a look at this screen shot:

The important things to notice are the Extension and Arguments settings. The Extension specifies which files this viewer configuration will be applied to. While the Arguments are specific to the viewer application itself, in this case Beyond Compare. You can change the extension (for instance, to .cs) to apply that configuration to only those file types.

Compare settings:

Extension: .*
Operation: Compare
Command: C:\Program Files\Beyond Compare 2\BC2.exe
Arguments: %1 %2 /title1=%6 /title2=%7

Merge settings:

Extension: .*
Operation: Merge
Command: C:\Program Files\Beyond Compare 2\BC2.exe
Arguments: %1 %2 /savetarget=%4 /title1=%6 /title2=%7

(Disclaimer: I have no ties whatsoever to Scooter Software, the makers of Beyond Compare.)
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