I have two images that are slightly different. (The second is actually generated by some manipulation in MatLab).

I need some way to compare these two images.Some utility that can highlight where the differences are.

[I know this can be done in Matlab, but I don't want to do it that way. Some easier method... some app maybe?]

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    Too old. But this should be on Software Recommendations – phuclv Jun 29 '15 at 12:22
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    @LưuVĩnhPhúc – if it was asked today... But this question was asked about 5 years before Software Recommendations was established. – miroxlav Jun 29 '15 at 20:57
  • @miroxlav - It's still not on topic so it should be closed, otherwise, we are just going to get answers that suggest random applications which don't meet the criteria of suggesting software here at Superuser. – Ramhound Jul 6 '17 at 14:18
  • @Ramhound – I agree, but some time ago some more experienced users told me that it is acceptable for old questions to remain where they are. I would be among the first to close (and possibly migrate) the question (or suggest the migration to OP). – miroxlav Jul 6 '17 at 14:30

Beyond Compare is really a file-and-folder comparison tool, but it also contains image comparisons (example link).

There's a free trial. I bought this tool ($30) because it's so incredibly useful for many things.

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    Beyond Compare really does live up to its name. It is the greatest comparison tool on the planet. – raven Sep 25 '09 at 13:33

I use AKS

It allows you to compare two JPG files and show differences between them. For instance, this tool allows you to compare two versions of the same image, chart, diagram or scheme.


Okay this is going to sound ridiculous, but if they are the same size you can put them side by side and cross your eyes like you would for a magic eye 3D picture, and the differences will stand out as if they are flickering (as your brain quickly alternates between the two different overlapped picture elements)

I use this "cheat" when I play those spot-the-difference flash games :P

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    :) actually my images are very high resolution with just one or two pixels difference between them (thats right - just some pixels) – Lazer Sep 25 '09 at 17:38
  • magic eye 3d ftw! – warren Sep 27 '09 at 10:27

There's the Araxis tools. From the screen shots on the page it appears that it highlights differences too.


perceptual diff:

PerceptualDiff is an image comparison utility that 
makes use of a computational model of the human visual 
system to compare two images.
  • Eh, I just tried it on two PNGs, both being solid white, 300x200 in size, one was straight from photoshop, the other was compressed with imageptim (lossless image compression tool) and it said 60,000 pixels were different, turns out, there's 60,000 pixels in a 300x200 image... – MarcusJ Jul 27 '14 at 6:09
  • provide both pictures and i might tell you more. – akira Jul 28 '14 at 7:11

I've just found this user-friendly app, DiffImg http://sourceforge.net/projects/diffimg/


There are quite a few image screenshot/image comparison tools based on Resemble.JS, which is actually an image-comparison tool in itself (it seems like you can use it to compare any images).

So, theoretically, you can use Resemble.JS ore one of the tools mentioned in the linked post.


This simple online image comparison tool provided me with a straightforward way to determine how much of my image changed when I used the macOS Preview app to add a text watermark to some example photos.

I wanted to verify if the process recompressed the file. The only new compression artifacts highlighted by the tool appeared directly around the added text.

This tool doesn't have the diff filtering options that Resemble.js appears to have so I may be missing out on more granular differences that might be occurring.

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