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How to compare the differences between two PDF files?

Are there any tools available for performing a diff between two PDF files? Or am I better off just extracting the text and comparing it in diff?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Breakthrough, TFM, Siim K, ChrisF Dec 9 '12 at 19:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Are you referring to third-party tools or only built-in tools like diff? – amiregelz Dec 9 '12 at 16:35


DiffPDF is used to compare two PDF files—textually or visually.

DiffPDF can compare two PDF files. It offers three comparison modes: Words, Characters, and Appearance.

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The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a binary file format. Although there are provisions in the specification to not compress the ASCII text in the file (assuming the text is aligned to 8-bit boundaries), most PDF files are compressed by default to save space (even lightly). For this reason, it would be impossible to directly diff the binary files (it's likely the entire file will have changed).

The easiest and most reliable method is, as your intuition led you, to extract the text and compare that using diff.

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