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How to Compare PDF

Aug 25 2023

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In a world fueled by information exchange, PDFs have become a staple for sharing and collaborating content in their original format.

However, with the ability to revise digital documents and edit PDFs, different versions of that document can cause confusion. Which changes were made? Where in the document do they occur?

Whether you're collaborating on revisions or verifying changes, the ability to compare PDFs is essential. This guide takes you through the process of how to compare PDFs online and instantly with Xodo.

How to compare two PDF files 

To compare two PDFs, follow the steps below:

1. Upload your first file to Xodo’s PDF Compare tool.

2. Upload your second file to Xodo.

3. Select your comparison option: Semantic Text Compare or Compare by Image Overlay.

4. Click on Compare.

Upload files to Xodo’s PDF Compare Tool

5. Select how you want to download your comparison report: Merge into one file or Download each file separately.

6. Click on Download or save the results to either Xodo Drive or Google Drive

PDF comparison features

Comparing PDFs can be time consuming depending on how many pages and what changes you’re dealing with. That’s why Xodo makes the process as simple as possible. Here’s a look at what the different options have to offer.

Choose how to compare your documents

Xodo gives you the option of how you want to compare the content. Which one is right for you? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Semantic Text Compare: This option will compare your PDFs by visually highlighting the textual differences and list them in the comments panel.
  • Image Overlay: This option will compare your PDFs by overlaying your two PDFs and compare the differences based on the pixel level difference. The differences will be marked with a different color.
Comparing PDF differences in Xodo

Add comments

Our PDF compare tool is more than just a tool to compare PDF differences. In addition to seeing the differences, you can comment on those differences, as well. Here’s how:

1. Click on the Comments icon in the top right-hand corner to open the comments panel.

2. Click on the highlighted difference you want to comment on.

3. In the side panel, add your comment or attach a file using the paperclip icon.

4. Click on the triangular button to save your comment. You can always edit or delete your comments, as well.

Add comments onto highlighted differences in PDFs

Add linked pages to your comments

Because comparing PDFs can also sometimes involve referencing other sources, Xodo gives you the possibility to add those in to give your comments context. With any comments you have, you can link to a URL or a page in the document.

Options to add a link to a page or URL in comments

To do this, simply click on the Link icon in the context menu and either enter your URL or the page number of the PDF page you want to link to. 

Decide what you do with your comparison report

No matter what your intent or purpose for comparing PDF files, you get to do what you want with the comparison report. Xodo allows you to choose from two options:

  • Merge into a single file: This option lets you merge your PDFs into one file so you can see your highlighted differences from page to page at a glance.
  • Download separately: Download and save each of your PDFs separately with the highlighted differences for each of those files.

After selecting an option, you can then save your reports to either your device, Xodo Drive or Google Drive.

Compare PDFs with Xodo

Comparing PDFs not only streamlines your workflow, but also boosts your ability to work with multiple versions of PDF content. Using Xodo to perform that task makes it easy for you to pinpoint subtle changes in documents and capture any comments to better collaborate and record your thoughts.

Are you a professional working on business contracts? A student reviewing research papers? Or striving to analyze changes in reported data?

No matter what your need, Xodo lets you navigate through multiple document versions with ease. Try comparing documents with Xodo Pro to identify variations and view content differences instantly. Add PDF comparison to your document management toolbox with a free 7-day trial.

Start Your Xodo Pro Trial
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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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