In computing, diff is a file comparison utility that outputs the differences between two files . It is typically used to show the changes between a file and a former version of the same file. Diff displays the changes made per line for text files. The output is called a diff or a patch since the output can be applied with the Unix program patch. The output of similar file comparison utilities are also called a "diff". Like the use of the word "grep" for describing the act of searching, the word diff is used in jargon as a verb for calculating any difference.

In modern applications, a diff utility is very useful too. In addition to the traditional development applications such as Java IDEs or source version control systems where a diff utility is necessary, applications in finance, computing, network management also need diff utility to compare text files, messages, xml files etc.

JIDE Diff brings a diff/merge component for Swing applications. It leverages JIDE Code Editor to view text files and provides compare/merge features on top of the CodeEditor. However, since the algorithm and the infrastructure layer is generic which means it can be customized to compare any type of objects. Since 3.2.0 release, we also support diff two tables.


  • Compares text files side by side using CodeEditor or JTables.
  • Clearly indicate the difference of the two files by linking the changes using the colored lines.
  • Separate changes in the code editors or tables using colors and lines.
  • Allows editing of the final result file when comparing.
  • Three way merging support