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Diffing binary files in PlasticSCM through Beyond Compare

Posted by jpluimers on 2018/08/02

The diff engine in PlasticSCM is nice in appearance, but it lacks a lot of features for file types that Beyond Compare handles out of the box.

For instance, .RES files cannot be diffed:

Unsupported file types for binary diff. Only images are supported (JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP)

Luckily, in PlasticSCM, you can define which kinds of files are differenced by what diff tool:

The steps for binary files are these:

  1. In the toolbar on the left (see image on the right), click “Preferences”
  2. In the dialog, select “Diff tools”, then press the “Add” button:
  3. In the new dialog, follow the below steps

    1. Ensure “External diff tool” is selected
    2. In the filename, enter the location of BComp.exe, which usually is "C:\Program Files\Beyond Compare 4\BComp.exe" (look in %ProgramFiles%\Beyond Compare 4 or %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Beyond Compare 4for the exact location) followed by the two parameters (all three each enclosed by double parentheses), for instance:
      "C:\Program Files\Beyond Compare 4\BComp.exe" "@sourcefile" "@destinationfile"
    3. Select the extension to apply (in this case .res)
  4. The list now ends with .res files, but these are not applied because $binary has a higher preference:
  5. To fix this, press the “^” button (Up) once, so .res gets in front of $binary:
  6. Then press the OK button to confirm.



Nice comment thread at

2 Responses to “Diffing binary files in PlasticSCM through Beyond Compare”

  1. jpluimers said

    Kevin Powick on G+ discussing Araxis Merge:

    +Jeroen Wiert Pluimers I suppose the one of the main reasons was that when I switched to OSX around 2007, Beyond Compare was only available on Windows. Merge was born a Mac product and integrated well with other Mac tools. I’m sure BC works well today, and maybe I should revisit it, but Merge still works well for me.

  2. jpluimers said

    By Thomas Mueller on G+:

    I have yet to find a different tool that can replace BeyondCompare. Once in a while somebody suggests I should use X instead, where X used to be WinDiff most of the time. I looked several times but it was never on par. BeyondCompare is easily worth the money.

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