I like kdiff3 very much due to the way it displays the result. It can compare more than two versions of a file or directory and displays the differences in columns:

  • For directories, it displays their tree structure and it's easily recognizable which file exists/is modified where
  • For files, it shows one column per file with the full text, highlighting the differences using various colors indicating the type of difference.

Here is a screenshot for those who don't know it: enter image description here

Often, I would like to give away this nice output, but unfortunately, KDiff3 does not support to save/print its output.

The simple output of the command line tool diff is a bit... puristic, with option -y I get at least a two-column-output, but also the output is not so nice.

colordiff seems not to be what I'm looking for.

Is there any other tool that can produce an output like this and save it to html/pdf/whatever?

Edit: I'm looking for a tool, which

  • compares files and entire directories
  • three or more versions
  • generates side-by-side view of entire files
  • colors the differences to make them more visible
  • allows to save this to a common format like HTML or PDF

The last point is the most important. Something like a screenshot would do the job, but usually, the files are too large for the screen, and I did not find a tool for linux yet, which can capture an entire window.

  • I have been using screenshots for this, assuming the changes would fit on my 3840x1200 or 1200x1920 pixels. Neither meld, diffuse nor meld that I regularly use can do this. diffuse is in Python so you might be able to put the functionality in yourself without to much problems.
    – Anthon
    Feb 18, 2015 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


coderev can do that.

Its top-level tool (coderev.sh) is set up to work with CVS or SVN repositories, but it's just a driver for codediff.py, which does all the actual work.

To get side-by-side views, I think you have to do a directory diff, rather than a file diff. When I tried a single-file diff, it gave me an inline view of the diffs instead. Of course, that may be fine for your purposes as well.

There is an online demo.

  • This looks very promising, thanks for now! Let me try it out!
    – sweber
    Feb 18, 2015 at 17:25

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