Newcomer to Git: how can I learn to use Sourcetree

I'm a free-lance web developer (working alone) and I've got tired of working with different versions of my files with slightly different names. I always get confused in the end. So I'm having a real try to adopt a version control system. I understand the broad principles of Git, but I thought it would be easier to use the Sourcetree GUI.

But I can't find a manual. I can get specific questions answered, but I was hoping to find some documentation that would take me through the process from the beginning, with particular reference to converting existing projects (with no formal version control) to Git.

Can you suggest a source, please ? I'd even buy a book if it exists.

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1 accepted

I'm adding this in order to close the Question.

Hi Tim,


Based on your expectations and suggestion of having an accessible manual for SourceTree I've created a request for documentation change at our issue tracker: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/SRCTREE-2506

Please feel free to vote on it, as well as adding any further comments you may find relevant.

Hi Tim,

I'm sorry there is not a specific manual for it. However, digging a little bit, I could find some documents that may be useful for you.

As you said you are starting adopting version control systems, though you said you already know the principles of Git, you may find interesting the Git Tutorial site: https://www.atlassian.com/git

It was mentioned in this topic in which I also found that, if you are using SourceTree for Mac you can find some directions under Help > SourceTree Help.

Some basic information are also contained in the Getting Started section of the FAQ: http://www.sourcetreeapp.com/faq/

Finishing, I also found a video tutorial about how to use Git and SourceTree for begineers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lBdlh3AGSc

Thank you. I hadn't seen the video before, and since that deals specifically with SourceTree (rather than generally with Git) I have found it useful, though it still leaves some things un-covered.

For example I'm unclear about the difference (if any) between 'Fetch' and 'Pull'. It may not matter just yet, as I shall not be working with a remote repository immediately.

Your repository contains both local branches and copies of remote branches. "Fetch" updates the copies of remote branches. "Pull" performs a "fetch", then merges any changes from the remote version of the branch you currently have checked out into your local one.

Thank you. I understand now.

It's a pity there's no SourceTree manual. I suppose it is assumed that anyone adopting SourceTree has already got a detailed knowledge of Git. In my case this isn't true. I have only a broad understanding of the principles.

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