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by OdatNurd ST3

Easily Manage Your Sublime Text Package Overrides



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OverrideAudit is a package for Sublime Text 3 that helps you detect and work with your package overrides, allowing you to easily see a list of files that you are overriding, see what changes your override provides, and most importantly to provide warnings to you when the file you are overriding has been changed by its author so you can determine what course of action to take.

If you're new to OverrideAudit, there is an introductory video available which shows some of the key features of the package. See also the new features added in version 2.1, which are not covered in the intro video.


Package Control

The best way to install the package is via PackageControl, as this will take care of ensuring that the package is kept up to date without your having to do anything at all.

To install via Package Control, open the Command Palette and select the command Package Control: Install Package and search for OverrideAudit.

Manual Installation

In order to manually install the package, clone the repository into your Sublime Text Packages directory. You can locate this directory by choosing Preferences > Browse Packages... from the menu.

Manual installation is not recommended for most users, as in this case you are responsible for manually keeping everything up to date. You should only use manual installation if you have a very compelling reason to do so and are familiar enough with the process to know how to do it properly.


OverrideAudit provides a series of commands to help you discover and inspect the package overrides that you currently have in place, see what is different between your override and the underlying package file, and most importantly the ability to detect when the file you are overriding has been updated by its author.

In addition to manually executing commands, OverrideAudit tries to keep you protected from expired overrides by automatically checking for them every time you upgrade Sublime Text or a package.

OverrideAudit commands may be executed via the Command Palette as well as via the menu using options under the Tools > OverrideAudit sub-menu. In addition, some commands are available as context menu items when you open the context menu over a package name or override name in a report, or over a report in general.

Some commands, such as the ability to “freshen” an expired override, are only available via context menu items so that you can directly target them at the package or override that you are interested in.

The following lists the available commands as seen in the Command Palette; the menu items are similarly named.

OverrideAudit: Package Report

This will display a list of all packages currently installed in Sublime Text, in a table format. The table lists the packages in roughly the order that they will be loaded by Sublime at startup.

For each package, an indication is made as to whether this package is [S]hipped, [I]nstalled or [U]npacked (see the terminology section for more information).

Additionally, a package that is currently disabled is displayed in [Square Brackets] while a package that represents a dependency for an installed package is displayed in <Angle Brackets>.

Each package name supports a context menu item which allows you to open a bulk diff report for that package, allowing you to quickly get an overview of the status of any overrides on that package. See the OverrideAudit: Bulk Diff Single Package command for more information.

OverrideAudit: Override Report

This will display a list of all packages for which there are overrides of any type, simple or complete, with an indication on any package or override file that is currently expired (see the terminology section for more information on these terms).

For each package displayed, a condensed version of the indicators from the Package Report are displayed, indicating whether the package in question is [S]hipped, [I]nstalled or [U]npacked.

A package which is a complete override is indicated by text to this effect appearing next to it in the output line. If such a package is expired, an additional note to this effect is added to let you know.

All simple overrides for a package are displayed below the package name in the report, and may be prefixed with a [X] mark if they are currently expired or [?] if they are currently unknown.

As with the Package Report, a context menu item is presented on package names to allow a quick bulk diff of overrides in that package. Additionally, override filenames include context commands to allow you to quickly edit, diff or delete that override.

OverrideAudit: Override Report (Only expired)

This command operates the same as the standard Override Report command, but constrains its output to only packages which have some form of expired override (either simple or complete).

This allows you to focus solely on those overrides which may require your more immediate attention.

OverrideAudit: Override Report (Exclude unchanged)

This command operates the same as the standard Override Report command, but overrides whose contents match the underlying file are excluded from appearing in the report. This can cause a package with such overrides to not appear in the report at all.

This exclusion does not apply to overrides that are binary, unknown or expired; those overrides will continue to appear in the report.

OverrideAudit: Diff Single Override

This will display a quick panel that lists all packages with at least one simple override, and allows you to compare the differences between the base file and your override to see what is different between the two.

When the content of the file is different, the output is displayed in a Unified Diff format in a new buffer, allowing you to inspect the changes.

As a shortcut, you can directly diff an override file from any Override Report or existing Bulk Diff report.

The option diff_unchanged allows you to specify the result of performing a diff when the override is identical to the underlying file.

OverrideAudit: Bulk Diff All Packages

This will generate a diff for every simple override that exists for all packages into a single output report, allowing for a quick overview of all overrides at once.

As for the Override Report command, each package listed has a condensed version of the indicators from the Package Report indicating whether the package in question is [S]hipped, [I]nstalled or [U]npacked as well as an indication if the package is a complete override or not. Additionally, expired complete and simple overrides are also indicated in the bulk diff report.

Each section of the report is progressively indented so that it is possible to use Sublime code folding to hide away parts of the report as you work.

As in the Override Report, the name of each package and the filenames of each override support context menus that allows you to quickly bulk diff, open or diff them in their own distinct view.

OverrideAudit: Bulk Diff Single Package

This command operates identically to the Bulk Diff All Packages command, with the exception that instead of calculating a diff for all overrides in all packages you are instead prompted via a quick panel for a single package to diff instead.

You can also access a bulk diff of a single package via a context menu on the name of a package in a Package Report, Override Report or a Bulk Diff report.

OverrideAudit: Refresh Report

This command is available from within all OverrideAudit report views (Package Report, Override Report, or Bulk Diff) via the Command Palette, context menu or main menu, and allows you to quickly re-run the same report.

When a report is refreshed, OverrideAudit ignores the current values of the reuse_views and clear_existing options and operates as if they are both set to true so that the existing report will be replaced.

This command is also available as a context menu entry from within a report view or its associated editor tab and via the F5 key, although you can change this binding to a key of your liking.

OverrideAudit: Swap Diff/Edit View

This command is only available in the Command Palette while the current file is either an edit session for an override or a diff of an override.

Although this command does not appear in the top level Tools > OverrideAudit menu, it does appear within the context menu of an appropriate file view, as well as on the context menu of an override file from within an Override Report or Bulk Diff.

Additionally, OverrideAudit contains a key binding to the standard Sublime key for swapping between associated files (Alt+O on Windows/Linux or ⌘+Alt+Up on MacOS) that operates from within an appropriate file view.

Regardless of how you trigger the command, any existing edit or diff view for this override will be switched to directly. In the case of a diff view, the diff will be recalculated, allowing any saved changes to be immediately reflected. The configuration option save_on_diff can be enabled to ensure that unsaved changes in the file are persisted first, if desired.

This command ignores the current values of the reuse_view, clear_existing and diff_unchanged settings and operates as if they are set to true, true and diff respectively in order to ensure that you don't end up with a large number of duplicate views.

In Override edit views, the mini_diff_underlying setting can be used to set the diff indicators in the buffer to diff against the underlying package file being overridden instead of the file as it appears on disk.

OverrideAudit: Revert Current Override

This command is only available in the Command Palette while the current file is an edit session for an override that is not unknown; that is, that the file represents a file stored in the underlying sublime-package file.

Although this command does not appear in the top level Tools > OverrideAudit menu, it does appear within the context menu of an appropriate file view, as well as on the context menu of an override file from within an Override Report or Bulk Diff.

When invoked, the command will confirm that you wish to perform the revert, and then replace the override on disk with a freshly unpacked copy from the source sublime-package file. This puts that file back in line with the original version while leaving the file along.

The confirm_revert setting can be used to disable the confirmation check prior to running the command.

OverrideAudit: Open Diff Externally

This command is only available in the Command Palette while the current file is a diff of an override.

Although this command does not appear in the top level Tools > OverrideAudit menu, it does appear within the context menu of override diff views.

Regardless of how you trigger the command, a temporary file is created which contains the base file from the sublime-package file to allow the external program to access it. This file is created read-only as an indication that changes to it will be lost, as OverrideAudit will remove it once the external tool terminates.

This command requires the external_diff setting be set to tell OverrideAudit how to open the external diff. By default this setting is set to false, which causes the command to be hidden.

OverrideAudit: Create Override

This command is available from the main menu and command palette and allows you to create a new override by by prompting you for the package and resource to override. The prompt will display only packages that can contain an override (i.e. packages that are not represented by a sublime-package file or which are currently in the ignored_packages list are not eligible) and will only display package resources that are not already overridden.

When a resource is selected, a new buffer is opened showing the contents of the underlying resource, allowing you to make any changes desired. The override is not created until you save the file, so you can close the tab at any point (even after making edits) without consequence.

When the buffer is saved for the first time, OverrideAudit will ensure that the correct file structure under the Packages folder is created and place the new override at the correct location.

The mini_diff_underlying setting can be used to set up the diff markers in the gutter to diff against the base package file, allowing you to more easily track your changes.

OverrideAudit: Open Resource

This command is available from the main menu and command palette and allows you to open any package resource for viewing (and potentially for creating an override). This works similarly to the Create Override command except that here all package resources are displayed, and any that are overrides will be annotated in the panel.

WHen a resource is selected, that file is opened for viewing. If the file is an override, then you can edit the file as per normal; regular resources will be opened as read-only and require you to use the Override Current Resource command in order to make them editable.

OverrideAudit: Override Current Resource

This command is available from the main menu and the command palette whenever the current view represents a package resource that has been opened via the Sublime Text View Package File command in the command palette.

This command immediately promotes the current buffer to a potential new override as if you used the OverrideAudit: Create Override command and selected the appropriate package and resource. As with that command, the override is not created until you save for the first time.

OverrideAudit: Delete Override

This command is only available in the Command Palette while the current file is either an edit session for an override or a diff of an override.

Like the Swap Diff/Override View command, this command does not appear in the top level Tools > OverrideAudit menu but does appear within the context menu of an appropriate file view and on the context menu of an override file from within an Override Report or Bulk Diff.

This command will delete the current override after prompting you to verify that you really mean to delete this file. OverrideAudit attempts to send the override to the trash using the same internal mechanism that Sublime Text uses to delete files.

When an override is deleted, any existing edit sessions of the override will remain open, and Sublime will indicate that they have unsaved changes because the file is missing.

The configuration setting confirm_delete can be set to false if you want to be able to delete overrides without being prompted first.

Automatic Reports of Expired Overrides

Although package overrides are vital to your ability to customize Sublime Text to your liking, Sublime will not warn you when you are overriding a file that has been changed since the time you first created the override.

In such a situation, the updated source file is ignored and your override remains in place, which means that any bug fixes or enhancements that the original package author has made will be hidden from you and you will never know it.

In order to help keep you protected from this happening without your realizing it, OverrideAudit will automatically try to generate a report to tell you if you have any expired overrides when it detects that something has been updated.

The report generated is an Override Report that contains only information on expired overrides. The report is only displayed if there are any expired overrides so that OverrideAudit can keep out of your way if there are no potential problems.

An automated report will be generated in the following circumstances:

  • Whenever you start Sublime Text and the version number has changed from the last time you ran it, indicating that you have upgraded Sublime Text to a different version.
  • Whenever a package is removed from the list of ignored_packages in your preferences file. Package Control does this whenever it is upgrading a package, for example.

Freshening an Expired Override

When an expired override is detected, it's a good idea to check and see what has changed between the source file and your override, so you can determine if you need to incorporate any changes into your override or possibly just remove it entirely if it is no longer needed.

Due to the way that PackageControl updates packages, it is possible for OverrideAudit to report an override as expired without any actual content changes being made to the original file.

In these cases, in order to stop the file from being reported as expired, its time stamp on disk needs to be changed to be more recent than the new package file. If you're opening your overrides to view their contents, this is as simple as just re-saving the file.

If you have many overrides, either in a single package or spread across multiple packages, a better option might be one of the Bulk Diff operations, which allows you to quickly scan for and see changes and only edit files that need special attention.

In this case, opening and saving files would quickly become a hassle. For this reason, OverrideAudit makes available in the context menu a command to Freshen either a single override or all overrides in a package all at once.

By default you are prompted that you want to do this before the command executes. You can modify the confirm_freshen configuration option to stop this from happening if desired.

The freshen operation updates the last modification time of files to be the current date so that OverrideAudit knows that everything is up to date.

NOTE: If you upgrade a package manually without adding it to the list of ignored_packages or while Sublime is not running, OverrideAudit will be unable to detect that anything has changed and will not automatically generate a report for you.

For this reason, it may be a good idea to manually run this report from the command palette as a part of your manual package upgrades.


The following configuration options are available for OverrideAudit. You can see the default settings as well as your own custom settings under the Preferences > Package Settings > OverrideAudit menu entries or via the command palette with Preferences: OverrideAudit Settings. On MacOS, the Preferences menu is under Sublime Text in the menu.

reuse_views: true/false (Default: true)

OverrideAudit generally creates an output view to show you the results of operations. When this option is enabled (the default), OA will try to find the view created last time and reuse it for the new command. When disabled, a new view is created every time.

Some OverrideAudit commands may ignore this setting.

clear_existing: true/false (Default: true)

When reuse_views is enabled (the default), this controls whether a reused view is cleared of its contents prior to executing the command or if the new output is appended to the end of the existing view.

Some OverrideAudit commands may ignore this setting.

ignore_overrides_in: Array (Default: [])

This is an optional list of package names which should be excluded from commands that show/calculate override information. The format of this option is the same as the ignored_packages Sublime setting.

This does not affect packages displayed in the general package list; it only hides packages from lists that show packages with overrides, such as the Override Report or the commands that find and diff overrides.

NOTE: Any overrides you create in packages in this list will be masked from you, so be very careful about what you add to the list.

diff_unchanged: String (Default: “diff”)

When using the Diff Single Override command, this setting controls what happens when the selected override has no differences from the underlying file.

The possible values of this setting are:

  • "diff" to open a tab with the empty diff in it
  • "ignore" to ignore the command; the status line will indicate the lack of changes
  • "open" to open the file for editing, allowing you to see its contents or make new modifications.

diff_context_lines: Number (Default: 3)

When displaying a diff for an override, this specifies how many unchanged lines before and after each difference are displayed to provide better context for the changes.

diff_empty_hdr: Boolean (Default: false)

When enabled, this allows you to see the source files and related time stamps of both files that participated in the diff even when there are no changes to display.

This applies both to a bulk diff as well as a single file diff, but note that for a single file diff this option will only have an effect if diff_unchanged is set to "diff", as otherwise no diff is displayed.

save_on_diff: true/false (Default: false)

This setting controls whether or not OverrideAudit will make sure any unsaved changes are persisted to disk when switching from an edit of an override to a diff of it, so that your changes will be reflected in the diff.

This option has no effect for a buffer with unsaved changes that represents a file that no longer exists on disk (i.e. you have opened the override and then deleted it) to ensure that you don't accidentally resurrect a deleted file by saving it again.

mini_diff_underlying: true/false (Default: true)

This setting controls how the Sublime Text mini_diff functionality interacts with your overrides when you're editing them (including when they are initially created by the Create Override command).

When enabled, while editing an override the file that Sublime uses to calculate the diff indicators in the gutter will be set to the unpacked version of the override you're working on.

This allows you to use the internal Sublime functionality for jumping between changes to easily navigate your override, including showing you inline diff hunks of each change and allowing you to revert changes.

This setting requires the mini_diff setting to be set to true in your Preferences.sublime-settings file; when set to false or "auto" the mini_diff_underlying setting has no effect.

confirm_deletion : true/false (Default: true)

When removing files, this setting controls whether OverrideAudit will prompt you to confirm the deletion before it happens or not.

OverrideAudit uses the send2trash library that ships with Sublime Text to perform file deletions.

confirm_freshen : true/false (Default: true)

When freshening expired override files, this setting controls whether OverrideAudit will prompt you to confirm the operation before it happens or not.

Although this operation is not destructive, freshening an expired override will stop OverrideAudit from warning you that it's expired.

confirm_revert : true/false (Default: true)

When reverting override files, this setting controls whether OverrideAudit will prompt you to confirm the operation before it happens or not.

binary_file_patterns: Array (Default: from user settings)

This setting is identical to the Sublime Text setting of the same name and controls what files are considered to be binary for the purposes of performing a diff operation.

The default value for this operation is taken from your regular Sublime Text user settings, so you only need to specify a value in the OverrideAudit settings if you want to consider a different set of files binary for the purposes of diffs.

report_on_unignore: Boolean (Default: true)

OverrideAudit can automatically generate a report to check for expired overrides every time a package is removed from the ignored_packages list in your Preferences.sublime-settings file.

As well as happening when you manually decide to re-enable a package you have been ignoring, this is also an indication that Package Control has finished upgrading a package.

When enabled, the report will only be shown if any expired overrides are found.

external_diff: Object, string or false (Default: false)

This setting can be false (the default value), the string "sublimerge" or a JSON object.

A value of false disables the external diff functionality while the string "sublimerge" tells OverrideAudit to use Sublimerge Pro or Sublimerge 3 to perform the diff. This requires that one of those packages be installed and enabled, or the value is presumed to be false.

When set to a JSON object, the object may contain the keys shell_cmd, working_dir and env, which work as they do in Sublime build system. Additionally, the keys linux, windows and osx may be set to JSON objects that override keys on a per-platform basis.

In addition to all of the standard build variables, the variables $override and $base expand to the file names of the override and base files respectively for use in the command line.

ignore_unknown_overrides: Array or Boolean (Default: VCS directories)

This setting controls whether unknown overrides are displayed in override or bulk diff reports, and can also control what unknown overrides are displayed and which are masked.

A value of true indicates that no unknown override should ever be displayed in a report; this is how OverrideAudit behaved prior to this setting being introduced.

A value of false indicates that every unknown override in every package should be displayed.

The setting can also be set as an array of regular expressions; in this case the value is treated as a blend of both true and false; unknown overrides will be displayed, unless they match one of the regular expressions in the array.

Regular expressions in the list match as if there is an implicit start of line anchor (^) present and are case sensitive or not based on the file system of the underlying operating system.

The default value of the setting is a list of patterns that hides all files stored in a git, subversion or mercurial control directory.

NOTE: package resources are always represented using posix path separators (the / character).


The following terms are used in the documentation, and are described here for those not familiar with how Sublime Text 3 works with and uses packages.

Packed Package

A Packed package is a package that is contained in a sublime-package file. This is actually just a zip file with a different extension. The name of the package file provides the name of the package itself.

This is a convenient way to install a package because all of the files and resources that make up the package are contained in a single file.

The package file Python.sublime-package is a packed package that provides the contents of the Python package, which provides support for writing Python programs in Sublime Text.

Unpacked Package

An Unpacked package is a package that is stored as files in a subdirectory of the the Sublime Text Packages directory, which is accessible from within Sublime by selecting Preferences > Browse Packages... from the menu. The name of the package comes from the name of the directory the package is stored in.

The contents of the directory Packages\User are considered to be the contents of a package named User

Shipped Package

A Shipped Package is a Packed package that ships with Sublime Text itself. These packages provide the core functionality of Sublime Text, and are stored in a special location alongside the Sublime executable. This makes them common to all users of Sublime on the same computer.

The shipped package Default.sublime-package provides the set of default key bindings, settings, menu entries and so on that all other packages modify.

Installed Package

An Installed Package is a Packed package that is stored in the Installed Packages directory, which is one directory level above the Packages directory used to store Unpacked packages.

Please note that this does not mean that an Unpacked package is in some way not installed; the terminology is purely meant to make a distinction between packages that are installed in a specific format and location.

Package Control is installed as an Installed Package, and many packages that it installs are also installed in this manner.


An Override is a file or files which override similarly named files contained in a package. When an override is in effect, Sublime will ignore the original packaged version of the file and use the override file in its place.

This can be used to modify package behaviour to your liking, but is dangerous in that if the packaged version of the file is modified by the package author, the override will continue to mask those changes and improvements.

Detecting when this is happening is one of the core features of OverrideAudit.

Simple Override

A Simple override is the most common type of override, in which a package is partially unpacked and then modified. This means that there is a directory in the Sublime Packages directory named the same as an existing Shipped or Installed package which contains files of the same names as those within the sublime-package file.

The file Packages\Python\Python.sublime-build is a simple override which causes Sublime to ignore the Shipped version of the file from the Python package, allowing you to modify how Python is built.

Complete Override

A Complete override is less common than a Simple override. This variety of override occurs when a Packed package with the same name as a Shipped package is installed into the Installed Packages folder. When this happens, Sublime will ignore the shipped version of the package and use the other version instead, as if it was the package that was shipped with Sublime.

The File Installed Packages\Python.sublime-package is a complete override of the Shipped Python package. As far as Sublime is concerned, this is the Python package that provides all functionality for this language.

Expired Override

This terminology is unique to OverrideAudit, and is used to indicate that an override (either simple or complete) is overriding a file that has been updated at the source (e.g. by Sublime text being upgraded or the package author modifying it).

When this happens Sublime does not warn you on its own, and will continue to use your overrides, potentially causing you to miss out on important bug fixes or new features.

The tools in OverrideAudit are designed to help warn you when this is happening and allow you to easily see what has changed so you can decide how best to address the situation.

Unknown Override

This terminology is unique to OverrideAudit, and is used to indicate that an unpacked package folder contains files that don't exist in the source sublime-package file.

Such files are not technically overrides (since they do not override anything) but OverrideAudit will display them in bulk diff and override reports in order to remind you that extraneous unknown files exist in the unpacked package. The ignore_unknown_overrides setting can be used to adjust the display of unknown overrides.


Copyright 2017-2019 Terence Martin

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.