Customizing Kiln’s Diff and File Views


Every diff and file view lets you customize the display to your liking. When viewing a file, click the gear in the top-right corner; on a diff or in a code review, click the gear in any diff’s header:

All displayed files and diffs have two configuration options: visible whitespace and tab size. Enable “Show whitespace” to add subtle markers for tabs and spaces in your code.

Spaces are marked with a dot, while tabs are a small arrow, so you can easily spot inconsistent whitespace. If you don’t like the default 8-space tabs, change “spaces per tab” to your preferred size. See the result in this Makefile:

In addition to these options, diffs have two additional customizations. Choose to ignore whitespace changes to only show the changes made to visible characters. Let’s take as an example changeset 0c84afa1d622 from Mercurial itself. The standard diff for this change looks complicated:

However, ignoring whitespace changes simplifies things, and reveals what the diff actually changed:

If you’re often reformatting code, this display can be a lifesaver. This option is equivalent to the -w/--ignore-all-space flag at the Mercurial command line.

The second option for diff display changes from a standard, stacked diff to a side-by-side diff. You might be familar with this style from kdiff3 or other visual diff tools. Rather than showing removed and added lines interleaved in a single column, side-by-side diffs show removed lines on the left and added lines on the right:


Compare each line’s changes directly across the screen. These new options allow you to customize Kiln’s display of your code to your liking. I love to tweak my workspace, and these options make it easy to get Kiln working just right for me.