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compareWith: RStudio Addins for Enhanced Diff and Merge

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compareWith is an R package providing user-friendly RStudio addins that make it easier to perform diff and merge tasks, compared to the limited functionality offered by RStudio itself, especially with projects under version control.

Tasks compareWith greatly helps with include:

  • Compare differences prior to commit, for individual files or the whole project.
  • Inspect and resolve merge conflicts via three-way comparison.
  • Compare two distinct files with each other.

The package relies on Meld, a common visual diff and merge tool.


You can install the latest compareWith from GitHub using the remotes package


The required dependency Meld is available for most Linux/Unix distributions and can be easily installed there, e.g. via sudo apt-get install meld on Debian/Ubuntu.

On Windows, its installation is supported by an MSI installer, downloadable from the Meld website. We recommend using the 3.18.3 installer (as hinted on the website), since newer versions seem to have Gtk issues. After installation, you may have to add the location of the installed meld.exe to the PATH environment variable.

Meld is not yet officially supported on MacOS. However, pre-built binaries are available as meldmerge.dmg images for new and old releases of Meld. We currently recommend using Meld 3.16.0, as newer versions do not appear to be stable. After installation, you need to make sure meld can be launched from the command line, e.g. via:

ln -s /Applications/ /usr/local/bin/meld

Meld can also be installed via MacPorts, Fink or Brew, where you may also have to switch to an older stable version.


The functionality of compareWith is accessible in RStudio using the Addins menu.

Merge conflicts with compareWith