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My favorite file comparison tool was Beyond Compare but since I recently switched to OS X, i'm no longer able to use it and I'm looking for an alternative, preferably a free one.

Update: I made the mistake not to specify that I am also looking for a tool that does directory comparison, not only files. Because this could make the already answers invalid I made another question for this What directory comparison tools can I use on OS X?

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See my answer to your other question. Ditto anthonyg's recommendation. –  JRobert Mar 15 '11 at 12:58
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11 Answers

This is an aggregation of the answers posted on SO's deleted clone, Graphical diff for Mac OS X. It includes links to each product, and the current price since last edit in USD.

Note that any links to SO will only be visible to users who can view deleted content, which requires either moderator privileges or 10k reputation on that site.

There were some other suggestions, which were not diff tools in their own right, which I will list below:

That about wraps up that thread's merge into this one, as covered here.

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For anyone using MacPorts kdiff3, meld, tkdiff, listed above, as well as xxdiff are all available through port install. –  johntex Jul 29 '13 at 23:33
    
I tried meld via Macports and a huge number of dependencies were required. I have since shifted to using TextWrangler's diff. This does directory comparisons and you can merge changes line by line. It doesn't do three way compare though. –  Jason S Dec 1 '13 at 6:25
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FWIW meld is also available via brew. brew install meld. –  commadelimited Feb 11 at 19:28
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FileMerge is bundled with XCode, but I prefer Kaleidoscope which is not free.

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To find FileMerge (assuming you have XCode) ...start up Xcode and choose 'Xcode' menu -> Open Developer Tool -> FileMerge. Or you can avoid starting up XCode by poking around in /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Applications/FileMerge.app –  Harry Wood Nov 29 '13 at 13:28
    
When Harry Wood says "poking around" he means typing in the terminal: open /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Applications/FileMerge.app –  Roberto yesterday
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I use Kaleidoscope. Or just plain, old diff from the CLI

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Changes.app has a great reputation and lots of features. Kaleidoscope is great too, and has a beautifully designed UI.

It's also worth mentioning if you're doing programming that Xcode 4 has visual diff tools built in now too.

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+1 for Changes.app Is the only one with a GUI which you can ignore both leading and trailing whitespaces.. –  nuc May 2 '13 at 7:13
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Changes was acquired by BitBQ in October of 2012. The latest link for changes is: bitbq.com/changes –  Matthieu Cormier Nov 30 '13 at 12:23
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DiffMerge from Sourcegear is simple and free.

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It looks to be much better than the FileMerge from XCode, thanks. –  sorin Mar 16 '11 at 17:25
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It is not great, but the FileMerge bundled with the OS can be launched from the command line as opendiff a.txt b.txt.

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You can use diff if you're using the command-line.

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There's also DeltaWalker.

It's $40, and there's a trial available.

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There are a great many comparison tools available. Many do directories and files. Some even perform as merge tools (2 and 3 way). Of these some have already been mentioned in other answers and your choice will depend on what features you require, and how much you are prepared to pay for the tool. There is a good Wikipedia page with a comparison of many of the better known ones.

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I use Folder Sync It costs $8.99 on the Mac App Store. It works really nicely.

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Beyond Compare 4 now runs also on OSX. Visit http://www.scootersoftware.com/beta.php?zz=beta4_whatsnew

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