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In the p4merge tool the layout for merging 2 files look like the following.

     +---------------+--------------+
     |               |              |
     |               |              |
     |               |              |
     |     a.txt     |  b.txt       |
     |               |              |
     |               |              |
     |               |              |
     +---------------+--------------+
     |   Choose any change          |
     |  from a.txt or b.txt and     |
     |  finally overwrite a.txt     |
     |                              |
     +------------------------------+

How to do this in emacs ?

  • Can you describe how ediff is different to that? – phils Aug 24 '18 at 5:42
  • Ediff does not show the bottom buffer. It only shows the "a.txt" and "b.txt" files buffers that can be laid out horizontally or vertically. – Talespin_Kit Aug 24 '18 at 5:44
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For the side-by-side layout of windows A and B:

(setq ediff-split-window-function 'split-window-horizontally)

You may also want:

(setq ediff-window-setup-function 'ediff-setup-windows-plain)

If you're using ediff for a merge you'll get the third/bottom window C showing the chosen result. This would happen automatically if the merge is being triggered by a version control operation, but you can use the M-x ediff-merge command to do so manually.

Note that in the manual case I think you'll also need to manually select the filename to write buffer C to (using the key sequence w c). You can probably use the minibuffer history to select the filename with M-p or <up>.

  • Thanks. Exactly what i wanted to do. Does the hardcore emacs users use anyother mere package other that ediff. Just to make sure using the right tool. – Talespin_Kit Aug 24 '18 at 6:19
  • 1
    smerge is the other popular option (also built-in). It's fairly different in use to ediff (and I expect you'll like ediff better), but some people do prefer its approach. They're both solid options, so AFAIK nobody has bothered to try to implement other alternatives. – phils Aug 24 '18 at 11:31

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