Best Document Comparison Tools

Document comparison tools are an important part of our modern lives — even if you don’t realize it. You’ve most likely come across a document comparison tool by accident when trying to download or view a file on the internet. While it may look like the file you want is present, the file you’re wanting has either been deleted, renamed, or updated. While this can pose a big problem for some people — there are other circumstances where having a document comparison tool available can actually be quite useful.

Comparison tools are software programs that aid in comparing and merging multiple files at once. The application is beneficial for developers, editors, accountants and lawyers. However, there are a number of comparison tools to choose from on the market, so how do you decide which one is right for you? This article features the best document comparison tools available in 2022.

Document comparison tools provide a way for you to work more efficiently. You can utilize these programs to compare documents, make the necessary changes, and save your time on discrepancies. See what are the best document comparison tools available for free.

Document comparison is a must-have skill when there’s a chance you’ll become an editor. And even if this isn’t your goal – you need to be able to compare and contrast documents in order to get clarity on the issues of the project.

Best programs for comparing two documents

adobe acrobat pro compare documents

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (suggested)

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC document comparison software

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is an excellent tool to compare documents, and especially PDF files. You can use this feature to compare two different documents or multiple versions of the same document.

If several persons are working on the same document, keeping track of all the revisions can be quite difficult. With Acrobat Pro DC, you can quickly compare the text and other elements to quickly spot the differences.

You can visualize the files side by side to better identify the changes. Alternatively, you can also apply a series of filters so that Acrobat Pro DC highlights the changes regarding particular elements such as text, images, annotations, and more.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC offers amazing features and it’s without a doubt the best program to compare two documents.

How to compare documents using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

  1. Navigate to Tools
  2. Click on Compare Files
  3. In the left-hand pane, click on Select File to choose the file to compare
  4. Click on Select File this time in the right-hand pane to select the second document or the newer version of the same document
  5. Hit the Compare button to launch the comparison process
  6. Select the Go to First Change option to review each different individually.

Other great features:

  • Can create and edit PDF files
  • PDF conversion
  • Compare documents
  • Ability to sign PDFs
  • Text recognition

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a powerful PDF editing software that allows you to easily compare any two documents. Check price Visit website

Soda PDF (recommended)

Soda PDF is a full-featured PDF creation and management software that allows you to edit, convert, e-sign, and compare documents.

The popular Acrobat alternative is accessible through any device with a web browser and it comes in two editions. Both the Standard and Pro versions can be used to compare two documents.

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The Review Module in Soda PDF lets you compare two documents, as well as insert comments and add shapes like arrows or stars.

On the other hand, its ability to work from the cloud and on multiple devices can enhance productivity if several persons are working on the same project.

Here are other great features included in this tool:

  • Create PDFs from 300+ file formats in just a few clicks.
  • Convert PDF files to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, HTML, and image formats with no loss of information.
  • Scan a document and extract the text with the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Module.
  • Protect your documents by adding 256-bit passwords, different permission levels, or a digital signature.       
  • Insert images, links, or even add watermarks to the background of your documents via the Insert Module.

Soda PDF

Compare two documents using one of the best all-in-one solution for your PDF needs! Check price Visit website

ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader document comparison software

Using this program, you will get the opportunity to find the differences in text between two versions of a document. This tool will eliminate the time-consuming line-by-line matching.

The Compare Documents feature is able to identify the changes between the document’s versions in various file formats that include PDF, Word and more.

The result can be saved in Word or PDF formats, and insignificant differences can be ignored and removed from the report before you finalize it.

ABBYY FineReader is simple to use and powerful, so it’s a must-have program that compares two text files.

Other great features:

  • With the help of ABBYY FineReader, you will be able to enjoy a comparison between files that will save you time and effort.
  • This software allows you to detect all the differences in a text between two versions of the same document in just a matter of seconds.
  • The software is incredibly intuitive, and you can use it to compare texts productively.
  • You will be able to compare two versions of a text across different file formats such as Microsoft Office files, PDFs, paper scans and more.
  • Of course, you will also be able to compare the same type of files.
  • ABBYY FineReader supports text comparison in 35 languages, and the program is able to detect a document’s language automatically.
  • There will not be any change left to go unnoticed.
  • The changes are highlighted in the two documents, and they will be displayed side by side making them easy to notice.
  • Only the changes that affect the content meaning will be highlighted, and the irrelevant modifications are excluded.

ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader

ABBYY FineReader is a document viewer that supports various file types, and it also comes with a powerful document comparison feature.Check priceVisit website

ExamDiff

ExamDiff document comparison software

This is a freeware visual file comparison tool that is able to detect file changes and more automatically.

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The freeware is compatible with Windows, and it’s ideal for file comparison. It is straightforward to use, and it comes with various functionalities that will turn out really useful.

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The software can compare two Word documents and highlight differences, but it requires a special plugin to do so.

Check out the best features that are included in this software below:

  • Using this software, you will be able to compare directories and binary files.
  • You can perform a three-way diff and merge, and you can also edit the files inside comparison panes.
  • You will get the ability to highlight diffs down the level of characters and words as well.
  • You can highlight syntax and ignore comments.
  • There will be no need to specify both filenames and all you have to do is enter a directory name for one of the files to be compared.
  • The software comes with an autopick feature in the Compare dialog box that is able to remember matching file pairs.
  • ExamDiff can automatically detect file changes and prompts the user to re-compare the files.
  • You will be able to use a drag and drop function for dropping one or two files into the software’s window.
  • The program comes with a fully customizable file extension filter.

The adjustable pane splitter with smooth synchronized scrolling will turn out a very useful feature.

WinMerge

WinMerge document comparison software

WinMerge is an open source differencing and merging tool for Windows. The program is able to compare both folder and files and to present the differences in a visual text format that is effortless to understand and handle.

Check out the best features that are included in this software below:

  • WinMerge supports Windows, and it comes with a tabbed interface.
  • The program compares visual differencing and merging of text files.
  • This is a flexible editor with syntax highlighting, line numbers and word-wrap.
  • WinMerge is also able to show the differences in two vertical panes.
  • The location pane shows a map of the files that are being compared.
  • The regular expression based file filters allow excluding and including items.
  • The program is also able to compare one folder, and it can include all subfolders as well.
  • The results will be shared in a tree-style view.

Other essential features include shell integration, plugin support, localizable interface and an online manual as well.

Pretty Diff

Pretty Diff is a free web app for comparing code, written entirely in JavaScript.

Pretty Diff Web-based diffrence tool

Kompare

Kompare is a graphical difference viewer that lets you compare two text files It’s included in the KDE Software Development Kit.

Kompare graphical difference viewer

UltraCompare

UltraCompare is a file and folder compare utility that works for text files, Word documents, zip files, and jar archives. In addition to local/network directory compare, it also supports FTP compare. It’s available for Windows for $49.95.

UltraCompare folder compare tool

Code Difference Comparison Tool

This is a free, bare-bones, web-based comparison tool. Just enter the master text and the second text and choose whether you want it compared inline or side-by-side.

Code Difference Free Comparison Tool

Diffuse

Diffuse is a free Python text comparison and merge tool for Windows and Linux.

Diffuse free Python text comparison tool

Compare & Merge

Compare & Merge is a file comparison and merging utility for source code, HTML, XML, and other text-based files. It’s available for Windows for $39.95.

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Compare & Merge File Comparison Tool

Active File Compare

Active File Compare has syntax highlighting support for C++, C#, Java, Visual Basic, HTML, PHP, XML, and many other programming languages. It can also compare files that exist in Zip, Tar, and GZip archives. It’s available for Windows for $15.95 for a business license or $9.95 for a personal license.

Active File Compare Document Comparison Tool

Colored Diffs

Colored Diffs is a Thunderbird plugin for highlighting differences in CVS or SVN email notifications about changes made by other users.

Colored Diffs Thunderbird extension

Compare It! 4

Compare It! lets you compare not only text files, but also binary and image files, and includes an editing engine. It’s available for Windows for $29.

Compare It! 4 binary and image files compare

Compare PDF

Compare PDF has support for both PDF and text file comparisons. It can be integrated with other software products. Compare PDF is available for Windows for $35 for a single user license.

Compare PDF file Comparison Tool

DiffPDF

DiffPDF is a free program that lets you compare two PDF files, with both text and appearance views (to check things like reformatting of a paragraph or if an image is changed). There are versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

DiffPDF PDF compressor

Meld

Meld is a free visual comparison and merging tool for Linux. It allows for comparison of two or three documents, and in-place edits. It also allows folder comparisons.

Meld free visual comparison and merging tool

Files Compare Tool

Files Compare Tool is a visual comparison app for files and directories. It offers color-coded side-by-side comparison and a powerful editing engine.

Files Compare Tool visual comparison app

Quick Diff Online Tool

Quick Diff is a simple, free online comparison tool. Just copy and paste the two bits of text you want to compare, and indicate whether you want it to compare side-by-side or inline.

Quick Diff free online comparison tool

FourierRocks

FourierRocks is a graphical WAV file comparison tool. It’s open source, and works on the .NET framework.

FourierRocks sound comparison tool

Tips for selection

Consider the next criteria when looking for your best comparing app:

  1. Efficiency like whether the app targets professionals or ordinary users and whether it’s appropriate for the format you’re using.
  2. User-friendly interface. With the best apps, you work intuitively and don’t need to do extensive research each time you use a new feature.
  3. Sophistication such as collaboration, sharing, and updates about changes. This also includes any additional features you may think about and which will simplify your life.
  4. Online version. Choose online tools so you won’t waste your time to make them compatible with your operating system.

Conclusion

Many software developers and business owners need to compare and analyze documents frequently, whether they do it manually with spreadsheets or some other method, or they use a third-party tool. A document comparison tool is a tool that is aimed at making the process of comparing documents easier and more efficient.

Document comparison tools have become one of the most vital tools in today’s workplace. Unfortunately, this is not an area of high growth. Firms which provide tools for image comparison are trying to capture as much market share as possible before the market collapses like a house of cards. It’s sad but it appears as if most of these firms are trying every underhanded trick possible in order to get paid customers sign up for expensive account plans.

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