Difference Options Dialog Box (Explorer and Plug-in)

Visual Studio 2005

Displays the options that specify how two versions of a file will be compared. You can use this dialog box to compare:

  • A local file to a source-controlled file.

  • A local file to a local file.

  • Two versions of a source-controlled file.


To specify a version of a file for comparison, you must add a semicolon and version number to the file name, for example: HELP.C; 5.

Dialog Box Access

In Visual SourceSafe Explorer, select a file and then, on the Tools menu, click Show Differences. Alternatively, you can click Diff in the History of <name> dialog box.


You can specify whether this dialog box is displayed by using the Command Dialogs tab in the SourceSafe Options dialog box.

In Visual Studio, select a file in Solution Explorer. On the File menu, click Source Control, and then click Compare.


Specifies the advanced options Ignore line ending differences, Show context, and Save settings.


Allows you to navigate to a file for comparison. You can browse for files in your Visual SourceSafe projects or in Windows folders on your hard disk.


Specifies the name of the file you want to compare. Use the Browse button if necessary to find the file.


Specifies the format in which you want to view file differences. Possible options are:

Option Description


Specifies that Visual SourceSafe should display differences in the visual format. This format, which is displayed in the difference viewer, uses color coding to identify added, deleted, and changed lines.


Specifies that Visual SourceSafe should display differences in the old-style SourceSafe format. This format consists of a text display of lines added, deleted, and changed.


Specifies that Visual SourceSafe should display differences in the UNIX format. This format consists only of the changed lines and uses text arrows to distinguish between additions and deletions.

Ignore case

Specifies that Visual SourceSafe should ignore differences in case.

Ignore line ending differences

Advanced option. Specifies that the Visual SourceSafe should ignore file differences that result from development on different operating systems (for example, end-of-line characters).

Ignore white space

Specifies that Visual SourceSafe should ignore lines that differ only in the space, tab, or other white space characters.


Specifies the number of lines of context information to display if Show Context is selected.


Performs the file comparison.

Only show this dialog when the Shift key is down

Specifies that this dialog box is not displayed unless you are holding down the SHIFT key when you select the command to show differences.


Shows a <your report title> dialog box to allow you to send a comparison report to a printer, a file, or the Clipboard.

Save settings

Advanced option. Saves the settings you have chosen for use in subsequent show difference operations.

Show context

Advanced option. Shows context information, including the changed line, as well as a specified number of surrounding lines.


Specifies the file you want to compare to the first file. You can also use the Browse button to find the file to compare.

See Also

Community Additions