There are many reasons why you may want to compare two PDF files. It could be because you need two documents that were sent to you merged or maybe you want a template with the document created. Whatever your reason, in this article we will focus on best free tools that can help you to compare two PDF files. Not all PDFs are created equal so there is no point in simply opening one and pasting another onto it. Some need to be linked together, some need to be completely identical and sometimes you will also want other people’s help such as a graphic designer.
Tool to Compare Two Pdf Files is a web based application that uses the power of optical character recognition (OCR) to compare two PDF files. It does this by first converting your PDF file into an editable document, which not only makes it easier for you to navigate inside your file but also allows the application to highlight differences in font and font size between both documents.
We have a large collection of data in PDF that we need to track often. Checking them day to day manually is not a good option as well as keeping two copies with different versions. To solve this problem, you can use software tools to compare two PDF files and check them daily or weekly basis and deleted outdated ones automatically. This approach will help you save your time and space in your computer. Here I will discuss best free tools available for comparing two PDF files and export correct information whenever you need.
Need to Compare Two PDF files and find out the differences? There are many handy tools to compare two pdf files online, but most of them will charge you either by time or by number of pages. We are going to list some free PDF comparison tools here, including a free tool to compare two pdf files on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
The Best PDF Comparison Tools
Finding the best PDF comparison tool can be a hard nut to crack. However, there are plenty of good PDF comparison tools that you should know. The following are our top picks.
Adobe Acrobat is a pre-installed, go to PDF viewer and editor for the majority of Windows users. You can view and edit your PDF documents with their free version.
To enjoy advanced features like combining multiple files, extracting few sections, splitting files into smaller chunks, and comparing PDFs, you’ll have to subscribe to its premium version. Check the pricing of Adobe Acrobat.
With its premium version, the powerful tool makes it so much easier to spot differences in two files with its Compare option. It highlights the edited text and the images and marks what’s added, removed, or modified in the document so that you can compare it side by side preview of documents.
After comparing both files, it also generates a clean comparison report that helps you quickly navigate through future changes.
Adobe Acrobat is supported on Windows, macOS, and Android. If your pockets don’t allow you to spend money on such software, sit tight, as we’ll cover some free alternatives.
Adobe Acrobat is another great PDF comparator tool in the market. This program has been in the industry for a long time and is reliable. With Adobe Acrobat, you can easily compare texts and obtain any changes in the original file. It comes with a handy highlight bar that makes visual comparison easier. Once the results are ready, you simply go to the results summary tab and obtain information on deleted, added, or modified content. Again, use the filters to view only what you want. You can choose to compare images, texts, annotations, or other formatting options.
How to compare PDFs with Adobe Acrobat
Step 1. Launch Adobe Acrobat on your device and navigate to “Tools” > “Compare Files.”
Step 2. Hit the “Select File” button one at a time to upload your old and new PDF files.
Step 3. Click “Compare” to allow the program to compare the two files.
Step 4. When the compare process is complete, proceed to the “Compare Results” summary to review your document.
Step 5. To start reviewing each difference in your new file, select “Go to First Change.”
As the name suggests, Diffchecker is a free tool that specializes in comparing files in different formats. It highlights the altered paragraphs and text, making it very conspicuous. After comparison, it gives a clean report specifying the changes made in the document. One can also view the changes in the side-by-side preview.
The ideal software for infrequent users, Diffchecker is supported on both Windows and macOS and has a web app. However, the desktop app and some other advanced features do require a small subscription fee of $9.
Copyleaks is mainly used for detecting plagiarism, but it also has a handy “Compare tool” that supports comparing files in different formats. Further, Copyleaks has recently introduced a multi-language adaptability feature by which you can compare files in multiple languages.
By registering for its free trial, a 10-day trial commences, in which you’ll be limited to scan the number of pages. After exactly 2500 words, users need to subscribe to a monthly plan of $24.99.
Copyleaks is supported on Windows, Linux, and macOS, and it is recommended to use this tool in either Firefox or Chrome browsers.
PDFelement – The Best PDF Comparison Tool
PDFelement Pro is a powerful PDF compare tool designed to simplify user needs. This program is used by millions of people owing to its incredible capabilities. PDFelement gives you a good platform to compare two PDFs and find the differences with ease. The good thing with PDFelement is that it allows users to compare other file formats by automatically converting them to PDF format. Other features offered by PDFelement include converting, editing, print, annotating, protecting, sharing, comparing, and compressing. This program is fast, affordable, easy to use, and is compatible with many devices.
How to Compare PDFs with PDFelement
Step 1. Launch PDFelement on your PC, then click the “Compare PDF” tab.
Step 2. From the subsequent “File Comparison” window, click the “Select File” buttons to upload the original and the new files.
Step 3. Once uploaded, click “Compare.” The program will display the changes in different colors. Insertions, deletions, and modifications are represented by blue, red, and green colors, respectively.
Step 4. Click the “Previous Change” or “Next Change” arrows to compare your texts.
Draftable is a good online Word and PDF comparator tool worth trying. This program allows users to view documents side by side and get the differences without much struggle. The good thing is that the documents remain in sync as you scroll. You can switch to a single page view to see all changes together in one list or simply save time. Again, access the change list and select a change to that point within the document.
Draftable is a popular PDF software that offers an enterprise-grade document comparison solution. You can compare PDF and Word, and PowerPoint files, making it a powerful app for someone who has to compare documents a lot.
Draftable can detect changes made in content, text, font, and style of the document and present them for analysis side by side. There is also an option to download the report in PDF format, making it a versatile choice.
The best part about Draftable is that the web version is completely free to use.
Open Draftable from the link below, simply drag and drop the two PDF files app, and click on the Compare button to begin the process.
How to compare PDFs with Draftable
Step 1. Using your browser, go to the draftable file comparison page. Here, hit the “Choose file” buttons on the left and right to select and upload the original and new files.
Step 2. Hit the “Compare” button to trigger the comparison, then check the differences. The differences are marked in different colours.
PDFForge is a simple yet useful online PDF comparator tool. This program is easy to use and quickly displays the differences in content. It goes ahead to indicate them in their respective line numbers. The good thing with PDFforge is its good security for your sensitive data.
How to Compare PDFs with PDFforge
Step 1. Visit PDFforge PDF compare page.
Step 2. Drop the two files in their respective sections and click “Compare.”
Step 3. The differences will be displayed after a few seconds. Choose a suitable view option and check the differences.
Soda PDF is a feature-rich diff tool that has abilities to edit, convert, secure, annotate, and compare text in PDFs. With this PDF comparison tool, you can easily compare PDF documents in two versions of a PDF and check the automatically highlighted discrepancies. This software is available on Windows 10 (desktop app), Windows 8, and 7.
Let’s dive into how to compare two PDF files on Windows with this handy program.
Step 1: Launch the PDF comparison software. Tap COMMENT on the top and choose Compare in the secondary toolbar;
Step 2: In the appearing dialog box, import the previous and new versions of the PDF you want to compare. Specify a page range for PDF comparison;
Step 3: Press Compare button to compare two PDF files. Seconds later, the PDF comparison will be completed and the results will be displayed side by side.
Foxit PDF Editor
If you want to compare PDFs for finding out changes made in the revised one, Foxit PDF Editor hits the spot. Its PDF comparison feature allows you to compare text or tables in two versions of the same PDF. When the comparison is completed, the PDF comparison tool will automatically generate a report with comparison results. In the report, a summary of the changes will be given and the two files are shown side by side with differences highlighted.
Here is a brief instruction for using this PDF comparison software to compare 2 PDF files on Windows.
Step 1: In the PDF program, go to View and select Compare in the sub-menu bar;
Step 2: Within the pop-up Compare PDF Files dialog box, click Choose in the Old File and New File sections respectively to import the earlier and new PDFs you need to compare. Select a page range;
Step 3: Hit Options to change the default settings for PDF comparison results. Press the OK button to compare PDF files. Tips：In the “Options” dialog box, you can click a checkbox to compare text or tables in the two PDF files. In addition, ticking the “Detect Page Deletions or Inserts” will help identify what’s deleted or inserted.
By the way, when the need arises, both the two programs can help compare two text files. The way to do that is to copy and paste text to Word and convert Word to PDF and then compare the PDFs.
DIFFPDF (WINDOWS ONLY)
We have covered DiffPDF before on GT and continue to recommend it to our readers for conducting side by side analysis of PDF files to find inconsistencies. The free version is valid for 20 days, after which you need to buy the paid version for a one-time fee of $160.
Draftable will highlight the changes in green, their site’s theme color. You can choose to highlight just content differences, style changes, or content and style differences in the right sidebar, depending on what you are looking for. Another cool feature is Sync Scrolling, where both the old and new documents will scroll together side by side, so you don’t have to do it separately while comparing and hunting for changes in the PDF files.
The web app is free, while the desktop version will cost $129 per year but bring additional features with it and work offline.
What is the advantage of saving a document as a PDF file?
PDF documents can compress large and high-quality files into small ones, so you will have the opportunity to save the computer’s space if you have limited storage. If you want to know what can open this format, check out this article on how to open PDF files.
With the help of pdf compare tool, file comparison becomes easier than ever. You can use it to compare two PDF files and see how their contents differ from one another in terms of typeface and font size, spacing between the lines, number of pages, etc. This utility also allows users to take a backup copy or scan for differences between two documents with utmost ease.
When you deal with a number of documents on a daily basis and have to review them, you often need to detect potential document issues and ensure that the content is perfectly intact. While this may not seem like much of a problem, it can be quite challenging if you don’t know what features or characteristics a file compare tool should offer.