Apart from offering its comprehensive comparison features,
Code Compare is an advanced visual 3-way merge tool. In other words,
it allows you to compare and merge three files at once. Such functionality makes
Code Compare incredibly useful in case when a project developed by several people
at once. Three-way merge supports the same features you use to compare and merge
two files. However, it provides to you a better dimensional picture and allows saving
a huge amount of time as compared to 2-way merge.
For this reason 3-way merge is considered an advanced functionality and is
therefore absent from the free Code Compare version and available to users of the
extended Code Compare Pro version only.
You can add your files by choosing the respective option from Windows Explorer context
menu or by simple drag-n-dropping. If you integrate Code Compare into a version
control system, you will be able to launch 3-way merge from there to solve any conflicts
Working with 3 files requires three panes on the comparison window. You must choose
the base file and place it on the middle pane. The rest of the panes will contain
two different editions of the base file, while the rest of panes are intended to
contain the files to be compared with the base file.
The default view is a vertical layout with all the panes displayed side-by side.
The comprehensive user interface of Code Compare contains a special toolbar, which
allows aligning all the panes according to your preferences. A single click can
switch between vertical and mixed layout, hide or show specific panes.
By clicking on the
button you can switch off Three-way Merge mode and merge two files. The resulting
layout will look like this:
Each file is assigned a revision version making it even easier for you to distinguish
the files you are working with. Each type can be shortened to a letter designation,
displayed in the top left corner of the respective pane. There are four revision
(Base) - base file you are working with;
(Mine) - just edited revision;
(Theirs) - other user's revision;
Result (R) - the resulting, new revision, containing all the changes introduced
from M, T and B revisions.
button allows choosing the file to be shown on the central pane between result and
Having arranged the files to your liking you can go on and start merging your files.
Like in 2-way merging, 3-way merge is based on single click actions. You
can replace, delete and insert differences before or after the related block, comparing
the base file with two of its revisions.
After the changed have been implemented and the document is closed, the following
This dialog allows you to choose a result file to save your changes into. If Show
this dialog only when more than one file has been modified option is selected,
the dialog appears only when several files have been modified.
For details on the major feature set of our file diff and merge tool, refer to the
overview page of Code Compare.