There are many occasions that unfortunately require me to manually merge in code changes from various sources and various types of files so that I can then commit them to a source repository. The sources could be a set of production servers, testing servers, development servers, files that were zipped and emailed to me, etc.

These sources may have files that need to be merged into my working copy and committed to a repository. Why developers would make source code changes directly on a production server scares me; however, there are developers that do this, and I have to plan for it and take corrective actions to ensure these changes are captured.

Ideally I would like to find a piece of software that at minimum provides the following features:

  1. Ability to set a local working copy as the 'recipient' of file changes, ideally this set of files should be a checked out copy of code from a source repository using GIT or SVN,
  2. Ability to specify lists of files or folders that are mapped to their respective locations on other servers or folders on a local machine to be compared when the user chooses to merge in changes, if any are found,
  3. Ability to compare the files or folders specified in #2 above and show which files or folders differ. The ability to enable or disable white space for files changes would be helpful as well,
  4. Ability to connect to remote servers via FTP or SFTP,
  5. Provide a rich IDE for source code files (ie. Javascript, PHP, HTML, CSS, etc.),
    1. Syntax Coloring,
    2. Code hinting,
    3. Code reformatting,
    4. Syntax checking,
  6. Ability to store global and 'project' level settings so that they can be remembered for future sessions,
  7. Ability to interface with SVN or GIT and perform many of the basic repository functionality afforded by said repositories in order to capture changes that were merged in from the various sources that were analyzed,
  8. I prefer OS X as that is my primary development platform however I welcome any response for Windows and OS X alike.
  • I'm sorry I don't have time to write a full answer for you. Check Beyond Compare. They have a new beta 4.0 for OS X which supports SVN. However I don't understand why you expect syntax coloring, code reformatting etc. from a file merging software. Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 2:42
  • "however, there are developers that do this" - if I had to deal with this behaviour routinely enough to want automated support, I'd be posting a different question on programmers.stackexchange.com or workplace.stackexchange.com, focussed on how to get them to change this behaviour. It isn't healthy for you or the company long term, and a highly-developed coping mechanism is Plan B. Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


In use Kaleidoscope ($69.99, also on the Mac App Store) for file comparison, mainly with Git. It's a native Mac application which runs super smooth. It's definitely not a cheap app, but the fact that it works so nice makes me happy each time when using it.

Kaleidoscope screenshot

I only use the app for folder and text file comparison. However, it also supports image comparison and merging. Therefore I'd recommend to grab their free trial and try for yourself whether you like the app as much as I do and whether the merge features are good enough.

  • 6
    Welcome to Software Recommendations. We want answers that explain how the recommended product matches the requirements and fits the purpose of the question. What you've written here is little more than ad copy for the product. Could you expand it to demonstrate how this product fits? See this meta post for tips on writing an answer. Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 22:07
  • 2
    Which one of the requirements (numbered 1 to 8) does Kaleidoscope satisfy?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 5:57

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