Navigating in a Diff Tab

Most text files are too long to fit on the display screen, and some individual text lines are too wide. Accordingly, the panes in which the versions appear have both vertical and horizontal scroll bars. Scrolling of the panes is synchronized automatically. Line numbers appear at the left edge of each pane.

For a text file that contains hundreds or thousands of lines, there may be only a few difference sections (added, deleted, or revised), separated by large unchanged sections. The Diff tool provides both navigation buttons on its toolbar and a difference map for direct access to a particular difference section.

Diff Toolbar Navigation Buttons

Whenever you use one of these buttons to jump to a particular difference section, the Diff tool remembers it as the current difference and highlights the lines numbers in both panes.

A "difference N of M" window in the toolbar indicates which difference section is current.

First Diff

(Accelerator key: Ctrl+Shift+) Go to the first difference section.

Last Diff

(Accelerator key: Ctrl+Shift+) Go to the last difference section.

Center Diff

Using the scroll bars or the difference map, you can make the current difference scroll off screen. Click this button to bring it back onscreen.

Previous Diff

(Accelerator key: Ctrl+) Go to the previous difference section.

Next Diff

(Accelerator key: Ctrl+) Go to the next difference section.


(Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+F) Search for a text string, in either of the versions being compared. A dialog appears, in which you define the search.

This command is also available on the GUI window's main menu: File > Search.

After you've defined a search, you can perform it again, using the command File > Search Again on the GUI window's main menu, or its keyboard shortcut: function key F3.

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Difference Maps

To the right of each pane, there's a difference map that shows the relative locations and sizes of all the difference sections. The maps use the same color-coding (see Color-Coding of the Contributor Versions) as the difference sections themselves. Click on any colored area within a map to scroll both panes directly to the corresponding difference section. (Actually, you can click anywhere in the difference map; the panes will scroll to that location, even if the files are identical there.)

Using a difference map merely scrolls the panes; it does not affect which difference is the current difference. After you jump to a particular location, click the difference section in either pane to make it the current difference.

If you use a difference map, but then want to scroll back to where you were before, click the Center Diff toolbar button.

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