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I am looking for a Windows tool that can graphically display a side by side or inline diff of two files, from the command line.

ie. winexe -diff --diff-options file1 file2.

I am not interested in one which requires the application to be loaded first and for the files to be opened via the File Open dialog. If there are any graphical tools that have the option that will be fine.

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It turns out WinMerge is capable of it. The instructions are WinMerge command line options

Being an existing user, I should have thought of it :). Only goes to show.

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You might also like to take a look at kdiff3 - it allows you to compare 2 or 3 files or directories side by side and to optionally merge them to a specified output location which can be any of the input locations or another location.

  • Free, Gratis & Open Source
  • Cross Platform
  • Supports multiple languages, Interface in az, bg, br, ca, cs, cy, da, de, el, en, en_GB, es, et, fr, ga, gl, hi, hu, is, it, ja, ka, lt, nb, nl, pl, pt, pt_BR, ro, ru, rw, sr, sr@Latn, sv, ta, tg, tr, uk, zh_CN
  • Full UTF-8 support including BOM & right-left or left-right ordering or even both in the same file
  • Integrates with several version control systems
  • Can print a diff
  • Can generate and apply patch files
  • Command line usage: kdiff3 path1 path2 path3 -o outpath

Example in directory merge mode: enter image description here

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