How to Use “git-difftool” Command in Git

By using a graphical diff tool, users leverage the features and capabilities of third-party diff tools that can offer advanced functionality. These tools often provide additional features like syntax highlighting, inline comments, three-way merging, and the ability to edit files directly within the tool. This integration can enhance productivity and collaboration when working with others.

This tutorial will demonstrate:

Explain the “git difftool” Command in Git

The “git difftool” command is used to launch a graphical diff tool to compare differences between several versions of files in the Git repository. It provides a convenient way to visually inspect and review changes made to files. When users run the “git difftool” command, it compares the changes between two versions of a file, such as the differences between the working directory and the index, or between the index and the latest commit. Then, it launches a specified graphical diff tool to display these differences in a user-friendly way.

When the “git difftool” command is executed, it looks for a configured diff tool in Git configuration. Users can configure their preferred graphical diff tool using the “git config” command.

How to Set up the Git diff tool in Git?

To set up the Git diff tool, check out the provided instructions:

  • Redirect to Git local directory.
  • Set the diff tool in the stated repository.
  • Check the added tool by executing the “git config –global diff.tool” command.

Step 1: Move to Git Local Directory

Execute the “cd” command along with the path of a local Git directory and navigate to it:

cd "C:\Users\user\Git\testrepo"

Step 2: Set Git Diff Tool

Use the “git config –global” command along with the “diff.tool” to set a tool in Git local directory:

git config --global diff.tool vimdiff

Step 3: Verify Tool

To verify the added tool, run the below-stated command:

git config --global diff.tool

It can be noticed that the diff tool has been added to Git local directory successfully:

How to Use the “git difftool” Command in Git?

To use the “git difftool” command in Git, try out the below-mentioned steps:

  • Navigate to the Git local Directory.
  • View Git log history.
  • Compare commits using the “git difftool” command.

Step 1: Go to Git Local Directory

First, navigate to the Git local directory by specifying the path along with the “cd” command:

cd "C:\Users\user\Git\testrepo"

Step 2: Check Git Log History

Run the “git log” command along with the “–oneline” option to display each commit on a single line:

git log --oneline

The resultant image shows that the complete history of the Git log has been listed successfully. Select any two commits of your choice for further use:

Step 3: Compare Commits

To compare the commits, run the “git difftool” command and add the commit HASH to compare in the diff tool:

git difftool a6c7bbd f6232a9

After executing this command, both files have been launched on the specified tool for comparison:

That’s all about the “git difftool” command in Git.


The “git difftool” command is used to launch a graphical diff tool to compare differences between multiple versions of files in the Git repository. To use this command, first, set a tool in the Git local directory, then, compare commits, branches, and files by using the “git difftool” command. This tutorial has expressed the “git difftool” command in Git.

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Hafsa Javed