Frequently Asked Questions

Finder integration

Should I select files (or folders) from Finder context menu?

VisualDiffer app doesn’t directly offer a way to integrate with Finder but you can use the Automator script available on VisualDiffer Hub.
Download the script from github, unzip it and double click on workflow file to install.
How to use it is described here

Use as External Diff Tool

VisualDiffer can be integrated with many applications thanks to the command line utility visdiff


  • Set ‘Visual Diff Tool’ to: ‘Other’
  • Set ‘Diff Command’ to: /Applications/
  • Set Arguments to: $LOCAL $REMOTE

VisualDiffer always prompts for a file open panel, why?

Starting from version 1.4.2 VisualDiffer totally agree with Apple sandboxing rules and this introduced a different way to access to file system.

Open existing vdiff sessions

Saved vdiff sessions needs to be aware of sandbox so the first time you open them you should be prompted to select left and right folders/files, then you need to re-save session so VisualDiffer stores the paths as trusted and no longer shows file open panel.

Integration with other applications

If VisualDiffer is used as external diff tool you should need to add manually paths as trusted, this is documented on Trusted Paths

Customize the file date/time format in Folder Differ View

Since version 1.4.4 or above

By default the Folder Differ View shows for files and folders a long format containing also seconds, actually this value can’t be changed from user interface but you can set it from terminal.

Change format

Open the terminal application and type

defaults write com.visualdiffer folderViewDateFormat HHmmss

Example above sets the format to show only the time (without date), format patterns can be found at Unicode Technical Standard #35

Restore default value

If you want to restore default value, open terminal and type

defaults delete com.visualdiffer folderViewDateFormat