git diff – handling long lines?

I’m running gitdiff on a file, but the change is at the end of a long line.

If I use cursor keys to move right it loses colour coding and worse the lines don’t line up, making it harder to track the change.

Is there a way to prevent that problem, or to simply make the lines wrap instead?

(running git 1.5.5 via mingw32)

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  • 16 Solutions collect form web for “git diff – handling long lines?”

    The display of the output of git diff is handled by whatever pager you are using.

    Commonly, under Linux, less would be used.

    You can tell git to use a different pager by setting the GIT_PAGER environment variable. If you don’t mind about paging (for example, your terminal allows you to scroll back) you might try explicitly setting GIT_PAGER to empty to stop it using a pager. Under Linux:

    $ GIT_PAGER='' git diff

    Without a pager, the lines will wrap.

    If your terminal doesn’t support coloured output, you can also turn this off using either the --no-color argument, or putting an entry in the color section of your git config file.

    $ GIT_PAGER='' git diff --no-color

    Or if you use less as default pager just type -S while viewing the diff to reenable wrapping in less.

    You can also use git config to setup pager to wrap.

    $ git config core.pager 'less -r' 

    Sets the pager setting for the current project.

    $ git config --global core.pager 'less -r' 

    Sets the pager globally for all projects

    With full credit to Josh Diehl in a comment to this answer, I nevertheless feel like this ought to be an answer unto itself, so adding it:

    One way to deal with seeing differences in long lines is to use a word-oriented diff. This can be done with:

    git diff --word-diff

    In this case, you’ll get a significantly different diff output, that shows you specifically what has changed within a line.

    For example, instead of getting something like this:

    diff --git a/test-file.txt b/test-file.txt
    index 19e6adf..eb6bb81 100644
    --- a/test-file.txt
    +++ b/test-file.txt
    @@ -1 +1 @@
    -this is a short line
    +this is a slightly longer line

    You might get something like this:

    diff --git a/test-file.txt b/test-file.txt
    index 19e6adf..eb6bb81 100644
    --- a/test-file.txt
    +++ b/test-file.txt
    @@ -1 +1 @@
    this is a [-short-]{+slightly longer+} line

    Or, with colorization, instead of this:

    result of just <code>git diff</code>

    You might get this:

    result of <code>git diff --word-diff</code>

    Now, if you’re comparing a really long line, you may still have issues with the pager situation you originally described, and which has been addressed, apparently to satisfaction, in other answers. Hopefully this gives you a new tool, though, to more easily identify what on the line has changed.

    To use less as the pager and make line wrapping permanent you can simply enable the fold-long-lines option:

    git config --global core.pager 'less -+S'

    This way you do not have to type it while using less.


    Just googled up this one. GIT_PAGER='less -r' works for me

    Mac OSX: None of the other answers except someone45’s ‘-S’ while less is running worked for me. It took the following to make word-wrap persistent:

    git config --global core.pager 'less -+$LESS -FRX'

    Since Git 1.5.3
    (Sep 2007)

    a --no-pager option has been available.

    git --no-pager diff

    How do I prevent git diff from using a pager?


    Starting with v2.1, wrap is the default

    Git v2.1 Release Notes

    Eight years later I find a superior answer, from

    git config core.pager `fold -w 80 | less`

    Now you pipe the git diff through fold, first, then to less: wrapped, less page-height is correct, keep syntax highlighting.

    You could simply pipe the output of git diff to more:

    git diff | more

    Not a perfect solution, but gitk and git-gui can both show this information,
    and have scrollbars.

    When you are using “git diff” and it’s showing several pages(you see “:” at the end of the page)in this case you can type “-S” and press enter.(S should be capital). it will toggle fold long lines.

    list the current/default config:

      $ git config --global core.pager  
        less -FXRS -x2

    then update and leave out the -S like:

      $ git config --global core.pager 'less -FXR -x2'

    the -S: Causes lines longer than the screen width to be chopped rather than folded.

    Noone pointed out this till now. Its quite simple to remember and no extra configuration needs to be done in the git config

    git diff --color | less -R

    When in trouble, I often resort to DiffMerge. Excellent diff tool that has in-line diff highlighting. Also, in the latest versions they added a mode to have an horizontal mode.

    I haven’t been able to configure git to use it, though. So I do have to muck around to get both versions of the file first.

    The easy way to do it, in my case I use Linux os

    git diff > text.txt

    This command line create and puts the git diff output inside the text.txt
    then you can open it with another text editor for example sublime text.

    sublime text.txt

    Hope it help you.

    do not forget delete it after. =0)

    Git Baby is a git and github fan, let's start git clone.