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AB.10 File Comparison with Dired

Here are two Dired commands that compare specified files using diff.

Compare the current file (the file at point) with another file (the file at the mark) using the diff program (dired-diff). The file at the mark is the first argument of diff, and the file at point is the second argument. Use C-SPC (set-mark-command) to set the mark at the first file's line (see section H.1 Setting the Mark), since dired-diff ignores the files marked with the Dired's m command.

Compare the current file with its latest backup file (dired-backup-diff). If the current file is itself a backup, compare it with the file it is a backup of; this way, you can compare a file with any backup version of your choice.

The backup file is the first file given to diff.

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