Detect differences between two PDFs

Never make the mistake of working with the wrong version of a file. Quickly and accurately detect the differences between two PDF files to improve document review workflows.

Use Cases

Applications, Collateral, Fact Sheets, Manuals, Policies, Reports, Request for Purchase (RFPs)

Organizational Impact

Cost Savings, Organizational Efficiency, Time Savings, Quality Assurance

When documents go through multiple rounds of revisions, changes can slip through the cracks. But you can easily compare text and graphics to catch every change using the Compare Files tool in Acrobat Pro. And, it can be used to compare any type of file like Word or PowerPoint if you convert those files to PDF first. Here I have two different versions of a presentation open, and we’ll start by selecting Compare Files from the Tools pane. This brings up the Compare Files dialog with the two documents automatically selected. You can switch the older and newer versions using these arrows. Making the correct selections in the Settings is important because it improves comparison accuracy. I’ll select presentation deck because I’m comparing two PowerPoint files that I’ve converted to PDF. If you only have text in your document, maybe it’s a very large contract or something similar, just select Compare text only. This is a really good way to see if any words have changed without worrying about the layout. When I select Compare a new separate PDF file, which is titled Compare Report is generated. It displays the two files side by side with a summary of the changes on one side and a comparison of the results on the other. To view the changes, let’s go to first change here. We can see that the text has changed. Hit the down arrow to view the next change, where we can see punctuation has been added. When I select the down arrow again, the final detected change is a color modification in a graphic, which means that even pixel level image changes are flagged. Again, you can see how no changes can slip through the cracks. You can share this PDF report with project team members to give them a side by side visualization of the document revisions. You’ll create more efficient document review processes for your organization by incorporating the Compare Files functionality into your document review workflows.
This video is part of the course Work smarter with Acrobat DC and Microsoft 365 that is available for free on Experience League!
Available in Acrobat Pro only.