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How to: View Differences

Visual Studio 2005

As described in Compare and Merge Mechanisms, you can use the Visual SourceSafe Explorer Show Differences command to compare files or projects and see the differences between them. This command is most often used when you check in a file, to compare your copy of the file to the master copy. You can also use Show Differences to compare two earlier versions of a file or project to each other, or compare an earlier version to the current master copy. You must have the Read project right to use Show Differences, and must have set a working folder.

A common use of the Show Differences command is to find the files another user has deleted from a project, so that you can delete them from your working folder. It can also be useful to see if any project-level changes have been made to the database during a period when you have been working on the project at home.


You can also view the differences between two versions of a file by selecting the versions in the History of <name> dialog box and then clicking Diff.

To view differences between two items:

  1. In Visual SourceSafe Explorer, prepare the difference viewer as described in How to: Set Up the Difference Viewer.

  2. Select an item in your database.

  3. On the Tools menu, click Show Differences.

  4. In the Difference Options dialog box (for a file) or the Project Difference dialog box (for a project), make your selections and then click OK.

  5. If the Show Differences command finds the two items to be the same, it presents an appropriate message. Otherwise, it displays the difference viewer.

  6. Check the differences between the items using the difference viewer.

See Also