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A wrapper around Google's diff_match_patch library. Google's library is awesome and can be fine-tuned in multiple ways, but their API is a bit awkward, probably cause they support the same API in 8 different languages.

Also, the library does not provide any beautification of the diff-ed output. They provide a reference implementation (look for diff_prettyHtml in the API docs ) but recommend developers to write their own - and the given method is not customizable .

This library is an alternative to embedding 30+ lines of cryptic JS in your code. In short, it tries to bridge the gap between the awesome diff_match_patch library and a simple user-experience.

This blog post explains things in a bit more detail.


jsfiddle demo


From npm.js.


First, include the libraries

  • include jquery.js, diff_match_patch.js and jquery.pretty-text-diff.js in your page, something like:
<script src="/path/to/jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="/path/to/diff_match_patch.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="/path/to/deal_override_requests.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

Next sprinkle a bit of JS

  • something like:
    // options

Check out the customizable options below.

Optionally, style the diff

  • Style <ins> and <del> as much as you want. A simple example is in the jsfiddle demo.

Customizable options

  • Either mark up your HTML to use the default selectors, or use these options:
option default explanation
originalContainer .original CSS-selector for the element that holds the original text. $(elem).text() will be used to extract the text.
changedContainer .changed CSS-selector for the element that holds the changed text. $(elem).text() will be used to extract the text.
diffContainer .diff CSS-selector for the element where the diff will be put.
cleanup true Whether diff_match_patch's diff_cleanupSemantic() will be used or not. true will produce a human-redable diff, whereas false will be more to the liking of machines. See the demo for the effect.
debug false see some debug output in your browser's console
originalContentv1.0.4+ None Pass the original content as a parameter in your JS file, instead of creating an element in your HTML code to extract this content.
changedContentv1.0.4+ None Pass the changed content as a parameter in your JS file, instead of creating an element in your HTML code to extract this content.


  • Install node and npm (comes with node now)
  • Install coffeescript and uglify: npm install -g coffee-script uglify-js
  • cake build to produce the output JS (minified)
  • Increment the version in the coffeescript (and compiled/minified) javascript source and the package.json file.
  • git tag x.y.z
  • Push: git push && git push --tags && npm publish


  • Fork this repo
  • create a feature/bugfix branch: git checkout -b branch_name
  • Develop
    • Just change the coffeescript source. When your PR is merged, I will generate the JS flavors and update the versioning.
  • Push to your repo: git push origin branch_name
  • Submit a PR


Copyright (c) 2013 Arnab Deka. Licensed under MIT LICENSE for details.


A wrapper around Google's diff_match_patch library, to make life easy




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