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I have set up diff-highlight as pager / highlighter for git.

[pager]
    log = diff-highlight | less
    show = diff-highlight | less
    diff = diff-highlight | less

That works perfectly.

But how can I use diff-highlight for normal diff ?

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You can define a function:

diff() { /usr/bin/diff "$@" | diff-highlight }

diff-highlight processes unified diffs (diff -u) but piping other formats appears to work — it passes them through unchanged.

To approximate the behaviour you get with git diff, you’d need colordiff too:

diff() { colordiff -u "$@" | diff-highlight | less -FRX }
  • thanks, but that does not work as it is. If I add '-u' to diff, then it works in monochrome. I had to change '/usr/bin/diff' to '/usr/bin/colordiff' to get what I want. I am not sure why your example works for you, but not for me. – Martin Vegter Feb 6 at 8:53
  • You asked how to use diff-highlight with normal diff ;-). Could you expand your question to make it explicit what you’re looking for? Is it something like “I want to run diff fileA fileB and see output similar to what I get with git diff fileA after configuring git with diff-highlight, including colours and paging”? – Stephen Kitt Feb 6 at 9:06

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