5+ best software to compare PDF documents

by Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from... read more
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  • Checking two documents to find differences can be easily done with PDF comparison software.
  • Such PDF comparison tools include Adobe Acrobat DC or ABBY FineReader. 
  • If you're looking for something else, KIWI PDF Comparer is another great tool worth considering.
  • By browsing the list below, you'll even find PDF compare software with a free download included.
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Comparing two documents to figure out the changes between them can be a time-consuming task. Especially when the documents run across several pages. Imagine having to compare documents side-by-side using two monitors?

When your work involves comparing documents as a part of a structured review, every change matter.

Earlier we have shared a detailed guide on the best software to compare two documents. However, if you are explicitly looking for PDF comparison software, this is the guide you need.

The tools listed in this article help you analyze and compare two PDF documents in no time. Some of the tools also offer merge functionality.

While all the tools are capable of PDF documents, you can use these tools to compare other types of documents when supported.

Which is the best software to compare PDF documents?

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is the most powerful document comparison software for Windows and Mac. The software can compare both files and folders and present the differences in visual text format. 

Also, you can scan the summary with all your changes.

Apart from offering a document comparison feature, it also allows you to convert documents to Microsoft Office-supported formats.

As well, you can share the files with your team in order to be reviewed or signed. The most impressive thing is that Adobe Acrobat allows you to track the document until it gets to the destination person.

Adobe Acrobat offers a 2-way file comparison. You can view the differences between PDF documents in a side-by-side view, where you can visualize both PDF files, so you see the differences in a highlighted way.

Also, you can select to view only the desired page with its changes.

For folder comparison, you can use regular expressions-based file filters to include or exclude items, compare using file properties like size and data, compare a folder, or include all the subfolders and view folder comparison results in the tree view.

You can compare PDF files in an easy way, so you have to select Tools > Compare Files. Then choose the older the newer file version you want to compare by clicking Select File > Compare Document.

You can select Go to First Change in order to see the differences between those two files selected.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe is an excellent tool for document comparison that allows you to select filters by content, images, text, or annotations.

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Soda PDF


Soda PDF comes with the best all-in-one solution for your PDF needs, even with the comparing two PDF files feature tool.

You can compare two PDF files in two different ways. One option that you have is to use the Compare Documents feature from the Review Module. This option is recommended because you can compare different versions of the same file, having highlights at every change. So, your files will open up next to each other showing all the differences between one and another. 

Another option is to use the Side By Side View feature from View Module that allows you to simply open up two files next to each other. Here, the disadvantage here is that for this option are no markings to indicate changes or differences in the document.

Besides the comparison tool, you must know that you can edit with Soda PDF like any other word processor: you can add, remove, change or modify the text, fonts, colors directly in the PDF.

Soda PDF

Soda PDF

Compare the PDFs you need and enjoy the best tools to edit or highlight parts of text!

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ABBY FineReader


ABBY FineReader is a powerful document comparison tool that supports multiple file formats. It is a premium tool, but you can try the free trial for a limited time to try the software without any risk.

One interesting feature offered by ABBY FineReader is the ability to compare two files of two different formats.

For example, you can compare a PDF file and a Word document of the same file side-side by the side without having to convert it to one specific file format.

ABBY FineReader also offers a document editing and conversion feature. You can edit scanned images or PDF Files and any necessary information or correct typos directly from the ABBY FineReader editor.

The scanned documents and images can be converted into multiple formats including Word, Excel, searchable PDF, and more.

In addition, ABBY FineReader comes with a proofreading feature, and it can recognize decorative fonts for accurate results and support creative Ebooks by converting the documents to EPUB and FB2 format.

ABBY FineReader is a robust document comparison tool. While the price tag is a little on the higher side, it can be justified with the features on offer.

Get ABBYY FineReader

KIWI PDF Comparer


KIWI PDF Comparer is a PDF document comparison software that comes in both free and paid versions. The software can be used to detect changes in text and images. It can also show differences in movements, insertion and deletion, and more.

If you don’t want to compare a complete PDF file, you can specify a region and KIWI will only compare the documents for changes in that region. It is a cross-platform program; as a result, you can run it on Windows, macOS, and Linux computers.

It comes with two comparison modes, Text compare, and Compare Pixel to Pixel. The first one finds matches and differences in text and image files irrespective of the page.

The Pixel to Pixel comparison finds differences between pages like they are images.

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On the customization front, you can leave the header, side margins, and footers from comparison and also select what pages to compare in case the document has multiple pages.

The software is easy to use and offers an intuitive user interface. To compare a file, simply load the PDF documents and customize it as per your requirement. Click on Compare to initiate the scanning process.

The changes are highlighted across the documents. You can change the thickness and color of the mark and other things to highlight the text over a complex background.

The free version of KIWI only supports up to 100 pages of comparison. For extended features like Image comparison and print results, you need to upgrade to the premium version.

Get KIWI PDF Comparer



Draftable is a cloud-based PDF document comparison solution. You can also download the standalone version of the tool to your PC, but that comes with only 14 days of a free trial.

Draftable online is free to use and a better option if you have a few pages of information to compare and also if the documents are not confidential.

To compare the documents, visit the website and upload the old and new documents that you want to compare. Click the Compare button to upload and start.

The online version accepts a maximum of 10 MB upload with 300 pages of documents.

The offline version of Draftable, on the other hand, offers more privacy but is not free. Both the version supports multiple file-formats including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Similar to FineReader, Draftable also supports the comparison of documents of different file formats.

Get Draftable

ExamDiff Pro

ExamDiff Pro

ExamDiff Pro is a premium PDF file comparison software that offers a multitude of features to advanced users.

Apart from document comparison support for PDF and Office file formats, ExmaDiff Pro also supports comparison between programming codes, executable files, and more.

Using the tool, you can perform a two-way and three-way difference and merge the document. It also offers Line Inspector panel for easier recognition of differences within lines.

The file differences can be saved to a dynamic HTML web page or take a printout. You can also add manual synchronization points to a text file, compare directly from the Explorer menu, etc.

The Advanced Ignore option allows you to ignore case, line break styles, comments, trailing, leading, and more.

To extended functionality, you can download third-party plugins to add support for Doc formats, Fetch Remote File, and compressed file formats.

ExamDiff Pro is a powerful tool and one of the most useful utilities that you can have as a programmer or web developer/designer.

Get ExamDiff Pro

Araxis Merger

Araxis Merger

Araxis Merger is another file comparison tool that helps you to compared text from Microsoft Word to PDF files with ease. It can also spot changes between source, HTML, XML, and even other text file revisions.

The file can be accepted, merged, edited, or deleted directly from the editor. The Pixel comparison feature allows you to compare image-based files for text changes.

It also supports a 3-way comparison and automatic merging, but the feature is only limited to Pro users.

Other feature offered by Araxis Merger includes folder comparison and sync, direct access to SCM, portable report, printing and automation and plugin support for extended functionality.

Araxis Merge is available for both Windows and ac computers. You can download the free trial for 30 days before opting for the premium license.

Get Araxis Merger

File comparison tools are not only handy for law firms and office work but also extremely useful for web developers and designers, programmers, and publishing professionals to compare source files, drafts, and web pages.

For the basic needs, the free PDF document comparison tools offer enough features to find all the differences between the two documents.

However, if you want a multi-purpose tool or have thousands of pages to compare, the premium tools in the article come with advanced features to compare any types of files.

Have you used any of the PDF comparison files before? Do let us know your pick in the comments below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • The easiest way to achieve this is to use dedicated software that can help you compare two documents.

  • Acrobat is an old release of Adobe, so Acrobat is suitable for editing, viewing, and reviewing PDF files. Acrobat has a free version which is Reader that is also the ultimate version of Adobe Reader DC.

  • PDF documents can compress large and high-quality files into small ones, so you will have the opportunity to save the computer’s space if you have limited storage. If you want to know what can open this format, check out this article on how to open PDF files.

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