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The ditto Command Line Tool

Ditto is a part of the standard OS X install. It can be directly used from Terminal. dittoGUI uses the information provided via the Main Window and the Setting Sheet to run the UNIX command line tool.

Finder Copy

ditto is a file copying tool, just like Finder but with some very important differences. In Finder when you copy a folder to another destination where that folder already exists, it shows a dialogue with Keep Both, Replace and Cancel options. If you click Replace it will overwrite the existing folder at the destination, Keep Both will rename the new folder.

ditto

ditto copies one or more source files or folders to a destination folder. If the destination folder does not exist it will be created before the first source is copied. If the destination directory already exists then the source directories are merged with the previous contents of the destination.

Examples

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Drop Files and folders to the Source Drop Zone, Copied to the Destination Folder

Drag and drop the Files and Folders you wish to copy into the Destination Folder.

The Files are copied to the Destination folder.

When we run ditto, the source files are not changed.
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Copy the Contents of the Source Folder to the Destination Folder

The contents of the Source folder are copied not the folder.

This is very similar to the above example.

When we run ditto, the source files are not changed.
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A Source Folder with a Folder

The contents of the additional folder are also copied to the folder.

The folder structure is added into the destination folder.

When we run ditto, the source files are not changed.
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A Source Folder with a Folder with Different Contents

This is the power of ditto, the Additional folder now had a different file and the Example file is removed.

After ditto the new file is added to the destination folder which now has both the original and the new files. This means that we can keep appending to the Additional Destination folder while removing and adding files to the Additional Source.

This is the major difference and advantage of ditto

When we run ditto, the source files are not changed.
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A Source Folder with a Folder with Different Contents

This is the power of ditto, the Additional folder now had a different file and the Example file is removed.

After ditto the new file is added to the destination folder which now has both the original and the new files. This means that we can keep appending to the Additional Destination folder while removing and adding files to the Additional Source.

This is the major difference and advantage of ditto

When we run ditto, the source files are not changed.