Chapter 2. Using Kompare

Getting Started

This section provides instructions for starting Kompare and provides a quick tour to the Kompare main interface.

Starting Kompare

A shortcut for starting Kompare can be found in the application menu in the Development group DevelopmentKompare.

When Kompare starts the first thing it does is display a dialog from which to select the files you wish to compare. Special settings for the properties of the diff and the appearance thereof can also be selected. In the file form select a source and destination source to compare. This can be any two files, folders or a URL and a file. Once the source and destination are selected click the Compare button.

Once Kompare has discovered the differences it will display the main interface. When comparing two files or a URL and a file the process takes just a few seconds. However, when comparing folders with many subfolders and files, this process can take awhile.

For explanation of the options available from diff and appearance forms see Chapter 3, Configuring Preferences.

The Main Interface

This section provides a quick tour of the main interface which is comprised of the following areas:

  • Menus

  • Toolbar

  • Source and Destination Folders

  • Source and Destination Files

  • Source and Destination Line Changes

  • Source and Destination Text View

  • Statusbar


Kompare provides a menu driven interface. Explanation to the menu items and their options is provided in Chapter 4, Command Reference.


The Kompare toolbar provides shortcuts to the most frequently used diff and merge operations. The toolbar orientation, text positioning, icon size properties and which shortcut icons are displayed can be customized from the toolbar context menu accessed when right-clicking the toolbar with the mouse. The toolbar context menu also enables the toolbar to be hidden. If the toolbar is hidden and you wish to unhide it, select SettingsShow Toolbar.

Source and Destination Folders

The source folder and destination folder panes display the folders in which compared files reside. When many subfolders are included in the comparison, then selecting a folder will display the first document in that folder where a difference was found between the source and destination.

Source and Destination Files

The source and destination file pane displays files where a difference was found for the currently selected source or destination folder. When a folder has multiple documents containing differences, all documents with a difference are listed. The selected document is displayed.

Source and Destination Line Changes

The source and destination line changes pane summarizes the differences found between the current source and destination documents. Selecting a record within the pane highlights and selects the difference. This is a useful way to navigate and inspect long documents with many differences.

Source and Destination View

The source and destination view is the main workspace of Kompare. The contents and highlighted differences of the currently selected source and destination file are displayed here with line numbers.

Text View

The Text View is not displayed by default. It can be opened by selecting SettingsShow Text View.


The status bar provides a summary of the current source and destination file or folder under comparison. The status bar also reports the number of changes found in the current document and counts the differences that have been applied. Furthermore, the status bar shows the overall number of documents containing differences and the current document number selected from this set. For example, a comparison run over two folders may return 1890 files with differences. The currently selected document is number 18 of 1890.