By Black Pixel
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
Spot the differences. Merge in seconds.
With text merge, three-way merge, folder comparison, and now the ability to ignore whitespace-only differences, Kaleidoscope integrates perfectly with the version-control systems you already use.
Who says powerful developer tools can’t be beautiful too?
Praise for Kaleidoscope
"Kaleidoscope epitomizes the concept of “versatile software”: anyone can pick it up and use it, and the app will “scale” according to a user’s needs." - Federico Viticci, MacStories.net
"Kaleidoscope 2 is breeze. I wish I'd had something like Kaleidoscope when I wrote my first novel, and I'll be counting on it when I finally get around to writing the next one." - Rene Ritchie, iMore.com
"It’s beautifully designed, fast and wonderful to use. It’s become an essential part of my toolkit already." - Matthew Panzarino, The Next Web
It's Part of Your Workflow
- Subversion, Git, Mercurial, Bazaar, and Perforce support
- Integrates as a fully-functional diff or merge tool
- Supported by a growing list of GUI source control management apps
Two-Way Text Comparison & Merging
- Three powerful display modes
- Super-fast diffing of lines and character-level changes
- Color coding to spot added, deleted, and changed text
- Review code changes and resolve conflicts
- Intelligently auto-merges the right content
File & Folder Comparison
- Ultra-fast algorithm for finding differences in large folders
- Sort and filter down to what matters most
- Drill deeper into folders for more detailed comparisons
- Copy your preferred files across sources
Powerful Image Comparison
- Compare images side by side, stacked, or split
- Spot subtle pixel differences with a high contrast “difference mask”
Optimized for OS X Lion & Mountain Lion
- Beautiful, modern UI to feel at home on your Mac
- Full-Screen mode for focusing on your content
- Looks gorgeous on retina displays and works wonderfully with high-resolution graphics
"The new Kaleidoscope is great, and has awesome and committed people behind it. Devs and designers need this tool." - @SteveStreza
"I just bought Kaleidoscope app! It has already saved my time greatly once (by comparing SQL from clipboard). Thank you!" - @befive_info
"Kaleidoscope 2 is the best merging tool for the Mac, hands down. I finally don't miss BeyondCompare." - @stefankendall
What's New in Version 2.1
New Feature: Added support for ignoring whitespace (leading, trailing and line ending) in text comparisons.
New Feature: Added an indicator to display remaining unresolved conflicts in a merge document.
- Added dropdown menus on either side of Choose Left/Choose Right buttons to make “Choose Both” options more discoverable.
- Added better tooltips for the “Copy to” buttons when in Unified view.
- Fixed various issues with Dark Theme which made text difficult to read.
- Fixed issue where selecting different text scope views on one window could affect copy right/left buttons on other windows.
- Fixed issue where holding option to modify the behavior of copy right/left buttons on one window could affect other windows.
- Fixed issue that could prevent Kaleidoscope from picking up changes made to a document open in more than one window.
- Fixed issue that could prevent Kaleidoscope from picking up changes made to documents externally, especially on the MAS build.
- Fixed issue where sometimes Folder Scope copies would not show up correctly after the copy had taken place.
- Fixed issue where Folder Scope would not pick up external additions of empty files or directories.
- Fixed issue that caused git integration to fail on 10.9 Mavericks.
- Fixed issue where ksdiff was sometimes not able to connect to Kaleidoscope after reboots with window restoration enabled.
- Fixed issue that where Kaleidoscope would not allow quitting when choosing “Review Conflicts” on a modified document.
- Updated Automator actions to categorize correctly in Automator.
- Added support for copy/paste shortcuts in the crash reporter window.
- Kaleidoscope now avoids saving files without changes.
- Kaleidoscope will now disallow edits to files that can be read but not written to (e.g. docx files).
- Kaleidoscope now better remembers size and position of your windows.
- Fixed issue that stopped the comparison windows from minimizing when double clicking their title bar.
- Fixed issue where the path bar area could fail to update correctly when switching tabs.
- Fixed issue where clicking the dock icon would not restore minimized documents.
- Fixed issue where dragging a group of files that were already open in Kaleidoscope could cause issues resulting in not all new files being added.
- Fixed issue that made it possible for the comparison window to grow vertically offscreen on 10.9 leaving you with a window you could not reposition afterwards.
- Fixed issue that made it impossible to bring up the open dialog by clicking on an empty tab when fullscreen in 10.9.
- Fixed issue where sometimes full-screen windows would not be full-screen.
- Fixed small visual issues with the Ignored Files dialog window.
- Fixed documentation issues with ksdiff help.
- Improved Help Documentation.
- Various performance and stability fixes.
Mediocre performance and poor support
I continue to be disappointed by Kaleidoscope. In general, it's only so-so as a diff tool. There are a number of things it mislabels as additions or modifications, and it's not great at separating groups of changes like it claims to. The bigger issue here is that it only offers a raw diff, so it's mostly useless for comparing two XML files that may have changed spacing and formating, but contain similar content.
One of the biggest problems is performance and lack of decent multi-threading. Whenever I compare large folders of a few hundred files each, the app freezes up for a very long time. Not only does it lock up the window loading these folders, but every window, regardless of what they are comparing.
There are also a lot of basic usability issues, especially regarding keyboard shortcuts and basic operations, that don't work correctly.
I've reported many of the issues and bugs I've seen to the developers, including screenshots, videos, and assorted other samples, but a lot of it has been dismissed as issues they're not interested in fixing. After 6 months without an update or even a simple bug fix, I've got a feeling they've abandoned the app but don't want to stop making sales. I would strongly recommend staying away from Kaleidoscope, even if a new version finally comes out.
USe to like it
File copy crashes every time - just done work any more,
Disappointing, slow, not thoughtful, but still useful
This app is close to being great. But then, the flaws are so huge, and so easy to fix, one wonders if the team that developed it has forgotten about it.
Here’s what’s wrong with the app.
When you diff two folders A and B, I believe it’s hashing every single file in folder A before it even checks whether the file exists in file B. If the file doesn’t even exist, no need to hash, yet the app must be doing SOMETHING during the many minutes, sometimes hours, it spends processing a folder with thousands of files that turns out to have no corresponding files in the other folder. This is an operation that should take a few seconds at the most if folder A has files and folder B doesn’t.
Sometimes, when running long folder diffs, it shows activity indicators. Sometimes, it doesn’t. It can go for hours with no activity indicator, then finally say after you sleep and wake up in the morning, show the results it was working on. OK, good that it eventually gets there, but the activity indicators should work.
Also the app does not always check the results of a merge often enough. This is hugely frustrating. You can make two folders match by copying files from one side to another, and then the app will sit there for half an hour or longer showing that the folders are still mismatched, when they aren't. I suspect it’s going through the rehash of each and every file again, but it seems like there should be some more clever ways to do this that would be faster. Cache stuff in memory, intercept file writes to make sure you have a good list of changed files, then check only the changed files, not every file. If I change 1 file in a directory with 10,000 files you shouldn’t check every file again. If you run out of memory, write a bit of light weight metadata to disk.
The UI is not updated often enough in general. When files are being copied, it sometimes says ‘Copying…’ and sometimes doesn’t. It doesn’t shown any indication of which files are being copied, so if you have multiple tabs and come back to one where you’ve already started the copy, it doesn’t let you know that. You may try to copy again, and it will give you an error saying the file already exists at the destination. OK, well now that we’ve checked and seen it already exists, how about updating the UI to reflect that fact? Nope.
The indicator colors showing whether something is different are way too light. They look like shades of white, so you often have to adjust your screen angle to make sure you’re seeing the differences clearly.
Other than those things… well it’s still a useful app that lets you do folder and file diffs fairly easily. So if you need something like this, go for it, but be aware that it is a neglected, unloved app that will give you some frustration.