Using WinMerge in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008

As a newcomer to Visual Studio 2008 I am not impressed by the file comparison tools used by default in theĀ IDE (a part of Team Foundation Server, I think). I have always reverted to WinMerge as my tool of choice for comparing text files. Today I came across a great little utility named Visual Studio Comparison Tools that lets me use WinMerge directly from Visual Studio. Well… not directly – but it starts WinMerge as an external tool and supplies the selected IDE files as arguments. The screenshot shows the tool in action from the IDE’s solution explorer.

A screenshot illustrating how text files can be compared using WinMerge from within the Visual Studio 2008 IDE

You need to have WinMerge installed in the default location (C:\Program Files\WinMerge) for it to work.