1.1.0 • Public • Published


GitHub style split (side by side) diffs with syntax highlighting in your terminal.

Screenshot of dark theme

Screenshot of github-light theme

Demo 1 | Demo 2


This currently requires node version 14 or newer to run.

Install globally

npm install -g git-split-diffs

git config --global core.pager "git-split-diffs --color | less -RFX"

Install locally

npm install git-split-diffs

git config core.pager "npx git-split-diffs --color | less -RFX"

Use manually

git diff | git-split-diffs --color | less -RFX


Line wrapping

By default, lines are wrapped to fit in the screen. If you prefer to truncate them, update the wrap-lines setting:

git config split-diffs.wrap-lines false

Inline changes

By default, salient changes within lines are also highlighted: Screenshot of inline changes

You can disable this with the highlight-line-changes setting:

git config split-diffs.highlight-line-changes false

Enable scrolling in the terminal

git config --global core.pager "git-split-diffs --color | less -+LFX"

(note the difference from the main configuration with the added + to the less command)

Syntax highlighting

Syntax highlighting is supported via shiki, which uses the same grammars and themes as vscode. Each theme specifies a default syntax highlighting theme to use, which can be overridden by:

git config split-diffs.syntax-highlighting-theme <name>

The supported syntax highlighting themes are listed at

You can disable syntax highlighting by setting the name to empty:

git config split-diffs.syntax-highlighting-theme ''

Narrow terminals

Split diffs can be hard to read on narrow terminals, so we revert to unified diffs if we cannot fit two lines of min-line-width on screen. This value is configurable:

git config split-diffs.min-line-width 40

This defaults to 80, so screens below 160 characters will display unified diffs. Set it to 0 to always show split diffs.


You can pick between several themes:


Based on

git config split-diffs.theme-name arctic

Screenshot of GitHub Dark (Dim) theme


This is the default theme.

git config split-diffs.theme-name dark

Screenshot of dark theme


git config split-diffs.theme-name light

Screenshot of light theme

GitHub Dark (Dim)

git config split-diffs.theme-name github-dark-dim

Screenshot of GitHub Dark (Dim) theme

GitHub Light

git config split-diffs.theme-name github-light

Screenshot of GitHub Light theme

Solarized Dark

As seen on

git config split-diffs.theme-name solarized-dark

Screenshot of Solarized Dark theme

Solarized Light

git config split-diffs.theme-name solarized-light

Screenshot of Solarized Light theme

Monochrome Dark

git config split-diffs.theme-name monochrome-dark

Screenshot of Monochrome Dark theme

Monochrome Light

git config split-diffs.theme-name monochrome-light

Screenshot of Monochrome Light theme


Tested by measuring the time it took to pipe the output git log -p to /dev/null via git-split-diffs with the default theme:

Features enabled ms/kloc
Everything 45
No syntax highlighting 15
No syntax highlighting, no inline change highlighting 13


Not seeing diffs side-by-side?

See #narrow-terminals

Not seeing colors, or seeing fewer colors?

Text coloring is implemented using Chalk which supports various levels of color. If Chalk is producing fewer colors than your terminal supports, try overriding Chalk's detection using a variation of the --color flag, e.g. --color=16m for true color. See Chalk's documentation or this useful gist on terminal support if issues persist.


  • diff-so-fancy for showing what's possible
  • shikijs for making it easy to do high quality syntax highlighting
  • chalk for making it easy to do terminal styling reliably
  • delta which approaches the same problem in Rust

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