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Copyright (C) 1992, 1994 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that this permission notice may be stated in a translation approved by the Foundation.


The program wdiff is a front end to diff for comparing files on a word per word basis. A word is anything between whitespace. This is useful for comparing two texts in which a few words have been changed and for which paragraphs have been refilled. It works by creating two temporary files, one word per line, and then executes diff on these files. It collects the diff output and uses it to produce a nicer display of word differences between the original files.

Ideally, wdiff should avoid calling diff and do all the work internally, allowing it to be faster and more polished. However, I loathe replicating the diff algorithm and development effort, instead of improving diff itself. It would be more sensible to integrate wdiff into diff than the other way around. I did it this way only because I had a sudden and urgent need for it, and it would have taken too much time to integrate it correctly into GNU diff. Your advice or opinions about this are welcome.

wdiff was written by Pinard. Please report bugs to `bug-gnu-utils@prep.ai.mit.edu'. Include the version number, which you can find by running `wdiff --version'. Include in your message sufficient input to reproduce the problem and also, the output you expected.

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