The other day I had to do a rather icky merge. I tried it via the command line, but was so confused that I had to use a GUI tool.

I used meld, but it seems that there are others, like kdiff3. But meld, while shiny, was still a bit hard to use. Not too hard, though, but I expect there to be something more intuitive.

Which tools are out there that a newbie to merging will be able to use easily?

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    For which operating system? Feb 4, 2014 at 21:42
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    And are you willing to pay (for instance, for Beyond Compare)? If so, please state a budget. If not, please add the gratis tag. please help us to help you.
    – Mawg
    Aug 21, 2018 at 9:06
  • @Manishearth, re "bit hard"; needs elaboration. Also, what budget , $, $$, or $$$?
    – Pacerier
    Apr 12, 2023 at 0:46

4 Answers 4


It depends on what you're used to.

I came to Git from a Perforce world and as such, found P4Merge the best. It is free and easy to setup with Git.

However, I soon found P4Merge limiting and quickly graduated to BeyondCompare, which is not free.

If you're new to merging, start simple and try P4Merge.

UPDATE: I have now stopped using Beyond Compare and use KDiff3 instead. The only thing you need to use kdiff3 are the keyboard shortcuts.

The panels you see in a 3 way merge are numbered 1, 2 and 3 from left to right. To resolve a merge conflict by choosing the changes from panel 1, you hit Ctrl-1. Hit Ctrl-1 again and it turns off the change from panel 1. If you want changes from panel 1, followed by panel 2, hit Ctrl+1, then Ctrl+2. If you want them in the reverse order, you hit Ctrl+2 then Ctrl+1. See where I'm going with this? Its incredibly simple.

Finally, you navigate between conflicts with Ctrl-Up and Ctrl-Down. If you want to manually add in changes, you just type. That's it.

Finally, as a nice bonus, if you're using Git Extensions on Windows, it comes with built in support for KDiff3.

PS> Even if you like the command line, you can invoke a GUI using git mergetool

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    BeyondCompare is nice, and I use WinMerge where I don't have BeyondCompare available. Feb 4, 2014 at 22:07
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    I still recommend Beyond Compare Nov 20, 2015 at 1:31

We use Araxis Merge (available for Windows and OS X) and I like to think that the basics of the application itself are very easy to use, so I think it would fit your requirement of "a newbie to merging will be able to use easily".

Of course, it also costs 200 € per user. (Well spent IMHO.)


I have been consulting as a software developer for *cough!`* decades now. In my experience, there are a few "industry standards", which we can assume means that multiple people, at multiple companies, agree on their superiority.

If you have particular "must have" features, please update your question to state them.

You do not state an operating system.

For Windows, the standard paid solution is Beyond Compare. There is a list of features here.

I have purchased a license, and this is my preferred tool.

enter image description here

For Windows, the standard free solution is WinnMerge, although you can use KDiff3 and Meld, both of which I mention later. Sicne I don't know which features are important to you, I can only say that ore companies use WinMerge, and I prefer it to those two. enter image description here

For Linux, you can use meld - list of features here enter image description here

For Linux, you can also use KDiff3 - list of features here.

The choice is all yours. If you need more information, please update your question.


SublimeMerge is worth mentioning.

enter image description here

Price: $100 (Evaluate for free – no account, tracking, or time limits) nagware

supported OS: linux, win, mac

what features you like: 3 way merge, integrates with git mergetool

why you think it is user-friendly: it has all the same shortcuts as sublime


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