I frequently work with other web developers, graphic designers and content writers, who all know HTML. What they don't know is how to access my files and collaborate.

This article is intended for people I work with as a quick introduction to using SVN on Windows.

PLEASE NOTE: I no longer use svn, I have moved on to Git. This article may be out-of-date.

I do all my SVN commands through the Linux command line. It is unreasonable to expect a non-system administrator to do this, so for this article I'll be focusing on Tortoise SVN, an easy to use SVN client.


  • Have an SVN Client installed (Tortoisesvn)
  • TortoisePlink (For SSH connections)

Note: This article focuses on using TortoiseSVN as the SVN client

Checking out a repository

First we need to download the project files. Your repository administrator will give you a repo url and possibly a username and password.

Right Click and Choose SVN Checkout, enter the URL of the Repository (supplied by the repository administrator). It will look something like this:

svn+ssh://This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./svn/trunk/websites/nickyeoman.com/

Modifying Files

Now that you have access to the files you can make your required changes. When you are done you will want to "Check in" your changes, so the rest of your team can receive your changes.

Right click on the file or directory you wish to send to the rest of the team and choose "SVN Commit" (aka a Check in). This will bring up a dialog asking what you changed (type in what you changed).

Receiving Updates From Others

To see what others have changed since you completed your SVN checkout, you have to run an update. You can update a file or directory.

Right click on the file or directory you wish to update and choose "SVN UPDATE". All the files that someone else has modified will now appear in your working copy.

Adding New Files

Create the new file, right click on it and choose tortoiseSVN and choose add. Then do a commit for others to see the file when they do an update.

Remove a file

You can't just remove a file because if you do it will re-appear the next time you run an update. Right click on the file and choose tortoiseSVN then delete. You will also want to move and rename files this way as well.

Additional Resources