Compare PDF documents

You can compare two similar PDF documents (such as two versions or revisions of a document) to determine differences between them or to verify if approved changes have actually been made. The comparison result is displayed in a temporary file that you can save if required.

Tip You may want to compare specific parts of documents only. First, use Home > Tools > Split Document for both of them, and then compare the resulting segments. See Split a document for detailed steps.

To compare documents:

  1. Compare Documents icon Select Advanced Processing > Process > Compare Documents.

    The Compare Documents dialog box appears.

  2. Accept the currently active open document offered as the initial one, or click Browse to select another.

    The Open dialog box appears. Browse to the initial document.

  3. Select the revision in the list below the document preview.
  4. Accept an open document offered as the changed one, or click Browse to select another.

    The Open dialog box appears. Browse to the changed document.

  5. Select the revision in the list below the document preview.
  6. Select a Comparison Type:
    • View visual and text differences (visual)

      Note For a visual comparison, specific attributes such as notes, highlights, markups, watermarks, signatures, etc. are considered as “normal” graphical objects and are included in the comparison.

    • View text differences (textual)

      Note For textual comparison, texts within text boxes, header/footer texts or stamped texts are considered as normal texts, but annotation texts are excluded from the comparison.

  7. For visual comparison, select a markup color and analysis type in the Analysis list:
    • Thorough (slower comparison with a higher number of smaller areas)

    • Balanced

    • Overview (faster comparison with a lower number of bigger areas).

  8. For text only comparison, click Include font information (name, attributes, etc.) to include formatting differences (such as font name, size, attributes).
  9. Select a Report type for the comparison result:
    Note Text differences are usually best displayed in Side by Side format, while for visually-based documents a Combined format may be preferred.
    1. Side by Side

      First, a summary page is displayed that contains the type of comparison (Visual or Text), the names of the older and newer documents, and either a message saying that both documents are identical, or the summarized comparison results as follows:

      For textual comparison, the number of words:

      • Added in the newer document

      • Deleted from the older document

      • Found in both documents (match)

      • Differing in formatting only (if specified)

      For visual comparison:

      • Number of identical pages

      • Number of differing pages

      • Number of pages added or deleted (for documents with different numbers of pages)

      For documents that were not found identical, the summary page is followed by pages of both documents next to each other with markups showing differences (such as strikethrough for deleted words, underline for added words, boxes for matching words, clouds for differing graphics, etc.). For comparison purposes, blank pages are added to the shorter document to equalize the numbers of pages.

    2. Combined
      A consolidated document is created that displays the newer version of the document. A sticky note comment on the first page contains basically the same information as described for the summary page of a Side by Side report. Areas where differences were found are marked up. Use the Hand tool and move the mouse pointer over a markup area to view the older content.