How to Compare Two PDF Files [Efficient and Easy Way]

Summary :

Comparison of two PDF documents can help you effectively proofread and identify the differences between the two versions to mark, the following step-by-step instructions can help you more efficiently compare.

Table of Contents

How to Compare Two PDF Files

How to Compare Two PDF Files

When collaborating on PDFs and engaging in the editing process, comparing versions is essential for tracking changes and proofreading. A tool that enables the side-by-side placement of two files for comparison, or even the automatic generation of a comparison report, significantly enhances efficiency.

Here are three user-friendly tools supporting file comparison, encompassing online and offline, free, and paid options.

How to Compare PDFs in Adobe

Adobe Acrobat enjoys widespread user love and support. Its robust overlay feature simplifies the process of comparing two PDF files. In Adobe Acrobat, users can effortlessly compare PDFs through annotations, adding images, adjusting highlighting, modifying text, and other operations that facilitate clear differentiation between versions.

Furthermore, Adobe provides an impressive feature where users can obtain a comparative results report, adding to the overall functionality of the tool.

Step 1. Open Adobe Acrobat on your device > Locate “Tool” > Find “Compare Documents” > Click the “Open” button to jump to the file uploading page.

Navigate to the "Compare Documents" Function Button in Adobe Acrobat

Navigate to the “Compare Documents” Function Button in Adobe Acrobat

Step 2. Choose the older version for the left side and upload the new version on the right. If graphic differences aren’t necessary, tick the “Compare Text Only” box.

For additional options, click the gear-shaped button.

Upload Two PDFs to Adobe Acrobat

Upload Two PDFs to Adobe Acrobat

Step 3. Click the “Compare” button below, and a summary of the generated comparison results will appear in a new document.

To delve into specific differences between the two articles, select “Go to First Change” for the comparison view mode. You can display both documents side-by-side or only the old or the new file. Utilize the “Next Change” button to navigate distinct locations. Activate the Color Legend to understand the meaning of marks in the file.

Compare Two PDF Files in Adobe Acrobat

Compare Two PDF Files in Adobe Acrobat

If you already have an Adobe subscription, this method is beneficial. However, downloading and obtaining Adobe Acrobat Pro can be costly and takes up significant storage space. Therefore, opting for an online or free-to-use tool is more budget-friendly and meets your requirements.

How to Compare Two PDF Files Online

Google Docs serves as a highly valuable online collaborative document assistant. You can translate documents, convert file formats, extract images from a PDF, and more with a few clicks. It enables simultaneous online editing by multiple users and allows customization of individual viewing rights.

If you need to compare two PDFs, Google Docs provides a platform for accomplishing this task.

Step 1. You can either upload PDFs to Google Drive and open them with Google Docs or convert PDFs to Google Docs documents first and then open the document in Google Chrome.

Open PDF Documents in Google Docs

Open PDF Documents in Google Docs

Step 2. Locate the “Tools” function button > Click the drop-down menu in it > Select “Compare documents” > Upload the comparison document in the pop-up window > Click “Compare” to start comparing.

Upload the Comparison Documents to Google Docs

Upload the Comparison Documents to Google Docs

Step 3. After the comparison progress bar is loaded, you can click “Open” to open the difference results automatically marked by Google Docs for you. The results will be displayed in the comment box on the right. And the text will be marked by underlining or changing the color.

Automatically Compare Two PDF Files in Google Docs

Automatically Compare Two PDF Files in Google Docs

How to Compare Two PDF Files Free

Opting for third-party tools to compare PDF documents is a wise decision. PDF24, a globally embraced free PDF tool since its 2006 launch, is highly regarded for its professional solutions. It offers both online and offline services.

The online features typically suffice for daily needs, making it a helpful resource when comparing two similar documents.

Step 1.
Visit the PDF24 website, locate the “Compare PDF” tool, and click to enter.

Open PDF24 PDF Compare Tool

Open PDF24 PDF Compare Tool

Step 2. Follow the prompts on the webpage: upload PDF files in the left and right boxes by clicking “Choose file” for each. Surprisingly, there are no limitations on file size.

Upload Two PDFs to PDF24

Upload Two PDFs to PDF24

Step 3. Click on the “Compare” button in the bottom right corner, and the system will automatically initiate the comparison. Simply wait for about ten seconds to view the differences in the display panel below. Red and green fonts, along with underlining, are employed to clearly distinguish between the two versions.

Compare Two PDFs in PDF24

Compare Two PDFs in PDF24


How to Compare Two PDF Files Online for Free?

When you are limited in storage space, the best service you can get is an online tool. Google Docs can help you. You just need to convert your PDF files to Google Docs, and then open a document when you click “Tools” > “Compare documents” to select another file from Google Drive to compare.

How to Compare Documents in Adobe?

As we all know, Adobe Acrobat is powerful and rich in functions. The comparison of two PDF files can be a breeze. Therefore, you just need to follow the steps below to operate: find “Compare Files” in the toolbar and then upload the two PDF files that need to be compared to the pop-up page.

How to Find the Difference Between Two PDF Files?

To better find the comparison and differences between two PDF files, we can use some means to find the differences between them. When you need to compare the PDF files uploaded to Adobe Acrobat, you can set her to automatically help you identify and mark the differences. This is very intelligent.

Can I Get a Report of Comparisons in PDF?

If you want to quickly identify the differences between two PDF documents when comparing them, then a tool that automatically identifies and marks the differences for you will be much appreciated. This report will contain a summary and comparison of the results.


Many tools are available to help you compare and view PDF files. Of course, if you have enough time and effort, you can try every available method at once. The above ways are relatively simple and quick. Go and try to use the comparison tools for two PDF files to proofread the joy of it.

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