I discovered that Xcode includes a diff tool called FileMerge. Where is it and how do you launch it?

Launching is easy enough:

  • From Spotlight, type filemerge
  • From a terminal prompt, type opendiff <file1> <file2> to compare two files

But, it's not possible to add it to Applications or Launchpad. I'd rather add it, since who can remember commands nowadays?

Here's what I tried and the error I got:

  1. Open Finder > Applications
  2. Search for filemerge, and it'll be found in your Device somewhere (instead of in Applications)
  3. Launch it and it'll run just fine
  4. Drag that to Applications
  5. Now if I launch it from Applications or Launchpad, I get an error, "FileMerge cannot be opened because of a problem... Check with the developer to make sure FileMerge works with this version of OS X"

FileMerge Launch Error

Instead, this is what you do, since FileMerge.app is part of the Xcode application bundle:

  1. From Finder > Applications
  2. Right click Xcode.app > Show Package Contents
  3. Navigate to Contents > Applications and there it is
  4. Right click Filemerge.app and select Make Alias
  5. Drag the alias to Applications, then delete it in the bundle (entering your password each time)
  6. Then under Applications, I renamed it to from FileMerge.app alias to just Filemerge.app dropping the suffix.
  7. And now that it shows up in Launchpad (without .app), I can move it to my "Development Tools" group.

It's got a little arrow on it too, just like a Windows Shortcut. Finally, something that makes sense.

FileMerge.app Alias (Shortcut)

Credit to whomever pointed it out over on Apple Support.