TortoiseGit Manual

Getting Status Information

While you are working on your working tree you often need to know which files you have changed/added/removed or renamed, or even which files got changed and committed by others.

Icon Overlays

Figure 2.8. Explorer showing icon overlays

Explorer showing icon overlays


Now that you have checked out a working tree from a Git repository you can see your files in the windows explorer with changed icons. This is one of the reasons why TortoiseGit is so popular. TortoiseGit adds a so called overlay icon to each file icon which overlaps the original file icon. Depending on the Git status of the file the overlay icon is different.

A fresh checked out working tree has a green checkmark as overlay. That means the Git status is normal.

As soon as you start editing a file, the status changes to modified and the icon overlay then changes to a red exclamation mark. That way you can easily see which files were changed since you last updated your working tree and need to be committed.

If during an update a conflict occurs then the icon changes to a yellow exclamation mark.

Staged. If you use "git update-index" to tell git this file will be committed, Git makes that file staged.

This icon shows you that some files or folders inside the current folder have been scheduled to be deleted from version control or a file under version control is missing in a folder.

The plus sign tells you that a file or folder has been scheduled to be added to version control.

The bar sign tells you that a file or folder is ignored for version control purposes. This overlay is optional.

This icon shows files and folders which are not under version control, but have not been ignored. This overlay is optional.

In fact, you may find that not all of these icons are used on your system. This is because the number of overlays allowed by Windows is very limited and if you are also using an old version of TortoiseCVS, then there are not enough overlay slots available. TortoiseGit tries to be a Good Citizen (TM) and limits its use of overlays to give other apps a chance too.

Now that there are more Tortoise clients around (TortoiseCVS, TortoiseHG, ...) the icon limit becomes a real problem. To work around this, the TortoiseSVN project introduced a common shared icon set, loaded as a DLL, which can be used by all Tortoise clients. Check with your client provider to see if this has been integrated yet :-)

For a description of how icon overlays correspond to Git status and other technical details, read the section called “Icon Overlays”.

Status

Figure 2.9. Check for Modifications

Check for Modifications


It's often very useful to know which files you have changed and also which files got changed and committed by others. That's where the command TortoiseGitCheck For Modifications... comes in handy. This dialog will show you every file that has changed in any way in your working tree, as well as any unversioned files you may have.

The dialog uses colour coding to highlight the status.

Blue

Locally modified items.

Purple

Added items. Items which have been added with history have a + sign in the Text status column, and a tooltip shows where the item was copied from.

Dark red

Deleted or missing items.

Green

Items modified locally and in the repository. The changes will be merged on update. These may produce conflicts on update.

Bright red

Items modified locally and deleted in repository, or modified in repository and deleted locally. These will produce conflicts on update.

Black

Unchanged and unversioned items.

This is the default colour scheme, but you can customise those colours using the settings dialog. Read the section called “TortoiseGit Colour Settings” for more information.

Items which have been switched to a different repository path are also indicated using an (s) marker. You may have switched something while working on a branch and forgotten to switch back to trunk. This is your warning sign!

From the context menu of the dialog you can show a diff of the changes. Check the local changes you made using Context MenuCompare with Base. Check the changes in the repository made by others using Context MenuShow Differences as Unified Diff.

You can also revert changes in individual files. If you have deleted a file accidentally, it will show up as Missing and you can use Revert to recover it.

Unversioned and ignored files can be sent to the recycle bin from here using Context MenuDelete. If you want to delete files permanently (bypassing the recycle bin) hold the Shift key while clicking on Delete.

If you want to examine a file in detail, you can drag it from here into another application such as a text editor or IDE.

The columns are customizable. If you right click on any column header you will see a context menu allowing you to select which columns are displayed. You can also change column width by using the drag handle which appears when you move the mouse over a column boundary. These customizations are preserved, so you will see the same headings next time.

At the bottom of the dialog you can see a summary of the range of repository revisions in use in your working tree. These are the commit revisions, not the update revisions; they represent the range of revisions where these files were last committed, not the revisions to which they have been updated. Note that the revision range shown applies only to the items displayed, not to the entire working tree. If you want to see that information for the whole working tree you must check the Show unmodified files checkbox.

Tip

If you want a flat view of your working tree, i.e. showing all files and folders at every level of the folder hierarchy, then the Check for Modifications dialog is the easiest way to achieve that. Just check the Show unmodified files checkbox to show all files in your working tree.

Viewing Diffs

Often you want to look inside your files, to have a look at what you've changed. You can accomplish this by selecting a file which has changed, and selecting Diff from TortoiseGit's context menu. This starts the external diff-viewer, which will then compare the current file with the pristine copy (BASE revision), which was stored after the last checkout or update.

Tip

Even when not inside a working tree or when you have multiple versions of the file lying around, you can still display diffs:

Select the two files you want to compare in explorer (e.g. using Ctrl and the mouse) and choose Diff from TortoiseGit's context menu. The file clicked last (the one with the focus, i.e. the dotted rectangle) will be regarded as the later one.