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Configuring TortoiseCVS to use TortoiseMerge

22 January 2010

I’m a big fan of TortoiseSVN for working with Subversion repositories in Windows. Recently I’ve had to work on a software project using a CVS repository, so I naturally decided to use TortoiseCVS. TortoiseSVN was originally inspired by TortoiseCVS, but despite the similarity in the names, they have no affiliation and function quite differently.

One of the first things that I noticed was that TortoiseCVS does not seem to come bundled with a Windows diff tool, unlike the handy TortoiseMerge that comes with TortoiseSVN. The TortoiseCVS FAQ recommends a couple of third-party diff tools which integrate with it quite nicely. However, if you already have TortoiseSVN installed, there’s an easy way to configure TortoiseCVS to use TortoiseMerge.

First, open TortoiseCVS’s settings by right-clicking on the desktop, and then “CVS” > “Preferences…”:

Click on the “Tools” tab. Under “Diff application”, browse to the TortoiseMerge.exe executable, which is in the TortoiseSVN bin folder. In my installation, this was:

C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseMerge.exe

For “two-way diff parameters”, enter the following:

/base:"%1" /mine:"%2"

Click OK and that’s it! The image below shows what your preferences should look like:

Now you can right-click on any modified text files in a checked out CVS repository, click “CVS Diff” and it will fire up TortoiseMerge to show you the differences between your local modified copy and the last commited version in the repository.

Note: You should also be able to use TortoiseMerge as your TortoiseCVS merge application too. I haven’t tested this out, but the “two-way merge parameters” should be similar to those used above for the diff application.


From → Coding tools

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