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How to Compare PDFs for Free (3 Ways)

In our day to day work we are constantly modifying documents. Most of the documents are shared in the PDF format. Sometimes, we end up creating multiple copies of the same PDF document and we then require to compare PDFs. This helps the author identify the changes and compare two PDFs. This is an important feature in the academic world where plagiarism is rampant. Sometimes when too many versions of the same file are created, comparison becomes an absolute must. This article introduces 3 ways to compare PDFs.

The Best Free Tool to Compare PDFs

If you are looking to compare PDFs, UPDF is your go-to tool. UPDF expands to Unique, Productive, Delightful, Free PDF editor. The tool provides a neat way to read through PDF documents and enables users to compare multiple PDF documents for free. Yes, you read that right! The tool is free and it does not require you to provide even credit card details.

compare two pdfs

The software is supported on different operating systems like Windows and Mac. The UPDF software allows you to read through a PDF File using a reader layout that is soft on your eyes and aids seamless reading. This feature reduces eye-strain. The tool can also let you manage the pages within the PDF file. Users can easily edit the text and images in the PDF document.

The modern and delightful user interface wins the tool more brownie points. The tool is extremely fast and powerful and is highly suited for heavy PDF workflows. It is also possible to annotate and edit within the PDF document using UPDF.

Way 1. How to Compare Two PDFs Step by step

Let us explore how you can compare two PDFs using the celebrated UPDF tool. The steps are quite straight forward and have been detailed below –

Step 1.  Open a PDF Document

The first step is to download and install the UPDF editor on your system. The software is supported on Windows 11, 10, 8 and 7. The software is also available for free on the Apple Store for macOS 10.14 and higher versions.

Once you have the software installed, you can now launch the UPDF editor and open one of the files you wish to compare another PDF against. To do so you can click on the 'Open File' option visible on the main screen of the UPDF software.

compare pdf documents

Step 2. Compare PDFs by Tabbed View

You can now add more PDFs to the comparison. You can do this by clicking on the '+' icon to open more PDF files. UPDF supports to open multiple PDF documents in tabbed view.

comparing two pdf files

You can now click on the tabs to view the PDF files and to compare PDFs.

Way 2. How to Compare PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

It is also possible to compare two pdf documents using Adobe Acrobat. Follow the below steps to compare PDFs in Adobe -

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat and choose the 'Compare Files' option from the "Tools" section.
  2. Click on the 'Select File' option shown on the left pane. Make sure to choose the older file version you want to compare.
  3. Click on the 'Select File' option in the right pane to choose the newer file version you want to compare.
  4. Click the Compare button and you will be able to review the comparison results and summary.
  5. Click "Go to First Change" to review each file difference between the older document and the newer document.

In this way you can compare 2 PDF files using Adobe Acrobat.

compare pdfs adobe

Way 3. How to Compare PDFs Online

PDF24 is yet another PDF comparison tool which enables you to compare PDFs online. The tool can be launched in your web browser and all actions can be completed in the browser itself.

The steps to compare 2 PDF files are as follows -

  1. Launch the PDF24 online tool in your browser
  2. Select the compare PDF option
  3. You will now see a screen with 2 partitions.
  4. From the left partition, select the first file to compare.
  5. From the right partition, select the second file to compare.
  6. You can now see the comparison of both the files.

In this way it is possible to compare PDF online.

compare pdf online


Indeed, if you search the internet for 'how to compare PDFs', various online and offline tools will be available. However, as is clear from the above options, tools like Adobe Acrobat are extremely expensive and heavy. On the other hand, free online tools like PDF24 do not offer security functions and are limited in functionality as well. Therefore, it is clear that UPDF is a complete PDF suite which performs high quality PDF comparison without users having to spend a penny. It is not surprising to learn that users from across the globe are providing such high ratings to UPDF and are recommending this as the ultimate PDF comparison software.