I know this has been asked before, but I have a spin as I have been trying out varying free software offerings. I want to rid out department of DiffDoc. The problem is that I am having trouble locating something that will do what we need. WinMerge has been the latest attempt.

The problem is simple. One Word and one PDF document with a portion of it containing the text to be compared against.

Compare them and be done. Raw text, ignore whitespace, ignore carriage returns, etc.; and give me the results in some sort of report.

We tried ExamDiff, kdiff3, Tortoise, and a few others.

  • possible duplicate of What is a good text comparison tool for Windows?
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Jun 3 '10 at 18:46
  • 6
    This question is more specific and addresses a common problem with few, if any, commonly available solutions: compare the text content of docs in two different, non-plain-text, formats.
    – JRobert
    Jun 3 '10 at 18:56
  • @JRobert is hitting the nail on the head...it seems so simple yet nothing seems to tackle it... Jun 3 '10 at 19:21
  • It only seems simple, which is why no one has tackled it. Probably the best solution is to convert to plain text from the native applications. Not even the FSM knows what text is actually in a Word .doc
    – msw
    Jun 3 '10 at 23:20
  • 1
    Perhaps you should emphasize this in your question @Aaron ;-)
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jun 4 '10 at 9:42

You could try looking into awk, sed and some bash scripting to help you out.

  • 1
    I have a feeling that a lobotomy performed with a 0.44" calibre firearm would be both quicker and less painful. Jun 8 '10 at 5:46
  • lol ... totally agree with you Jonathan :)
    – tapan
    Jun 9 '10 at 3:58

As of current my solution is a hodge-podged app. PDFBox for PDF extraction and Word Interop for Word docs. It rips through them replaces \r\n with " ", pushes each to a .txt file then they are ready to be compared in a simple manner in WinMerge.

Would really like something a bit more robust and official...but as of now...this is the answer for free...

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