How to Compare Two PDF Files


PDF is an electronic file format. It can retain the original format of the file. Sometimes we will receive the revised PDF version and then we must compare it with the original version to find the difference. Comparing such files can be done manually but you need to open two documents in a PDF reader and compare them side by side. You have to read the file and see if there are any changes in the file. This task is very laborious.

In order to save time, we provided some useful comparing tools in this post. They are designed to help you find the difference between the two files and can some of them can highlight the difference in the file which can help you find the differences more clearly.

Section 1 - Compare Files Using Online Tools

1. Soda PDF

Soda PDF is a reliable, intuitive, and portable PDF editor you can use at home and on the go. With Soda PDF, you can use the "PDF Merge" tool to combine various document formats into one document, create PDFs in more than 300 file formats and convert PDF to a series of file types.

Meanwhile, Soda PDF provides advanced security and collaboration features that are easy to adopt and increase productivity. The best part is that you can access all Soda PDF features in the cloud from any mobile device. You can even prepare and send electronic signature contracts directly through Soda PDF.

Step 1. Navigate to the Soda PDF website and then go to the online version.

Step 2. Click the "REVIEW" > "Compare Documents" to upload the PDF.

Soda PDF Review Compare Documents

Step 3. You need to select two versions of the file to compare. Click the folder icon to upload the "Original Documents" and "Revision Documents". Then select the page range of each document. When you finished, click the "OK" button.

Soda PDF Upload Compared Documents

Step 4. Then the server will open the two PDF files. It will highlight the differences between these two PDF files.

 Soda PDF Compare Documents

2. Aspose PDF Compare

Aspose PDF Compare is a free web application that can compare PDF content online from Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, and anywhere. You can compare PDFs without installing additional software; just use this online tool to view differences in PDF content. The comparison application has an easy-to-use interface that provides the function of uploading two PDF files and then downloading the result comparison document with the highlighted different text.

Step 1. Go to its website then upload two PDF documents to compare. Then click the "COMPARE" button to start the comparison of both files.

Aspose PDF Compare Upload Compared Documents

Step 2. When the file is uploaded, you can instantly download, view, or send the output file as an email.

Aspose PDF Compare Download Documents

Step 3. If you choose to view the differences online, the server will mark the difference in red, so that you can clearly see the difference. After confirming the differences, click the "Download" button in the upper right corner.

Aspose PDF Compare Compare Documents

3. Draftable

Draftable is one of the fastest online document comparison tools. It can compare more than 300 pages in seconds. With Draftable, you can not only compare the PDF but also can compare Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Your documents are safe in the server; the server will never modify your documents.

Step 1. Upload an older version file with the left button and upload a newer file with the right button. Then hit the "Compare" button.

Draftable Upload Compared Documents

Step 2. After the comparison, you will see two documents side by side with highlights in different colors. Highlighted red means deleted text and highlighted green means inserted text. You can scroll the two files synchronously, which can optimize your viewing experience.

Draftable Compare Documents

Step 3. Click the "Download" button in the upper right corner to download the comparison document.

Section 1 - Compare Files Using Online Tools

1. Foxit PDF

Foxit PDF is a PDF editor for PDF document generation and management. With this software, you can easily create and edit PDF documents and fillable forms, sort pages, add header, add watermark, and so on. Meanwhile, Foxit PDF is a PDF editor that provides multiple security options. It will permanently delete visible text and images in PDF documents to protect confidential information.

Step 1. Install the software from the official website.

Step 2. Set the software. Launch the software then click the "File" > "Preferences" > "Documents". In the "Open Setting" list, choose the "Allow multiple instances" option that you can upload more than one file.

Foxit PDF preference Open Settings

Step 3. Upload your two PDF documents to begin clicking the "View" > "Split" and then choose whether you want to split your view vertically or horizontally.

Foxit PDF Compare PDF Horizontally

Step 4. At last, you can edit and download the PDF.

2. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC can quickly spot differences between different file versions for a better review process with the compare tool in this software. With the comparison tool of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, you can not only make the documents comparison easy with a handy highlight bar for fast visual comparison but also can see all the text and images that have been changed between two versions of a PDF document.

Step 1. Open Acrobat for your computer and choose "Tools" > "Compare Files" which shows under the "Share & Review" list.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Tools Compare Files

Step 2. Upload both of your old files and your new file then click the "Compare" button.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Select Files to Compare

Step 3. Then you can see the Compare Results summary. On this page, you can see the total changes in the two PDF files.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Compare Files Summary

Step 4. Click the "Filter" to see the differences of text, image, header, and so on between the old and the new PDF file. All differences will be highlighted in red.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Compare Files

Step 5. Click the "File" > "Save" to save the comparison results.


The above applications will help you to solve the problem of comparing PDF documents. However, many of the online tools cannot edit the PDF file directly after comparison. If you want to highlight and mark the comparison results, you need to use the offline software.

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