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How To Use `git diff`

Lucia Cerchie
Full stack software developer | JavaScript | Python | CSS | SQL
・1 min read

What do you do when your code was working on main but you've checked out a new branch, added a few changes, and it's failing?

One of your available tools is a powerful command my coworker taught me recently: git diff.

With it, you can see the differences between your current branch and main.

For example, say your Prettier settings are suddenly not working after switching to a new branch and playing around a bit. You run git diff, scroll through the changes, and see:

 {
-  "editor.formatOnSave": true
+  "editor.formatOnSave": false,
 }
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Oh my gosh! Somehow, your Prettier settings got set to false for formatOnSave. That explains it!

git diff can save you a lot of time when you're debugging code behavior that's different from that on main. Let me know what other git tools increase your coding productivity!

Discussion (1)

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Waylon Walker

Super useful skill, especially for comparing branches like you showed