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I have two ODT documents, they have very close contents, I want to compare them to see how similar they are.

The best would be to have a similarity percentage, if not possible, an alternative would be at least to have some sort of diff.

I am running Ubuntu Lucid.


I used odt2txt to convert the files to text, then used wdiff -i --statistics one.txt two.txt to have a diff along with statistics which gave me the percentage of common words (similarity).

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possible duplicate of How do a binary diff on two identically sized files under linux? – KronoS Jun 22 '12 at 21:43
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I haven't tried them myself but this pair of tools - odt2txt and oodiff - looks promising.

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I used odt2txt to convert them to text, and then used wdiff which gives a diff by word. – Weboide Jul 13 '10 at 10:36
Thanks. This is great for use in version control systems like git or mercurial. See integration / automation techniques at OpenDocument, diff, and revision-control – nealmcb Jan 26 '15 at 19:23

Did you try the built-in compare functionality? Edit / Compare Document...

If you just want a textual diff, your best bet is probably to convert both documents to plain text, then run a regular diff on them. You will have to figure out how to normalize linebreaks though, otherwise the diff will not be very useful.

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Great function in LibreOffice, I had never heard about it! Very useful but no stats are given. – stragu May 24 '13 at 3:07
Excellent! I never would have thought to look in an Edit menu to compare documents. I looked in File, Tools, and Window, the last being uSoft's Word location. – wallyk Mar 24 '14 at 18:26

If you don't care about text formatting, you may as well copy the contents to plaintext files and use good old diff.

ps: Are you a teacher looking for possible cheaters ? :p

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lol no I'm not a teacher but yeah this would be a good way to look for cheaters :) – Weboide Jul 11 '10 at 17:16

The way I do this is to produce .pdf files with libreoffice and then use diffpdf to compare the two pdf files. This shows the differences highlighted in parallel windows

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