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3 Game-Changing Methods to Compare PDFs for Differences Like a Pro

In our day-to-day work, we are constantly modifying documents. Sometimes, we end up creating multiple copies of the same PDF document and we then require to compare PDFs for differences. This helps the author identify the changes in different PDF versions. This is an important feature in the academic world where plagiarism is rampant or in the editing world where the editor might need to track their changes to address their subordinates' mistakes.

In this article, we have mentioned three different ways to compare PDFs. Ensure to follow each guide until the end to avoid any confusion. Hop on to begin exploring them!

Way 1. How to Compare Two PDFs Manually with UPDF

If you are looking to compare PDFs manually side-by-side, UPDF is your go-to tool. The tool provides a neat way to read through PDF documents and enables users to compare multiple PDF documents as they need. Let us explore how you can compare two PDFs using the celebrated UPDF tool. The steps are quite straightforward and have been detailed below -

Step 1.  Open a PDF Document

The first step is to download and install the UPDF on your system. The software is supported on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

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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.

pdf to pdf compare open file

Step 2. Compare 2 PDFs by Tabbed View

Once one PDF is opened, you can add more PDFs to the comparison by clicking on the '+' icon and then choosing the "New Window" option to open the second PDF in a new window.

Now since you already opened the 2 PDF files in 2 separate windows, you can drag them freely to the position you like and compare for differences.

compare 2 pdfs with updf

UPDF also supports opening multiple PDFs at once, and if you want to compare more than 2 PDFs, you can use the same method to open as many windows as you need. If you don't like to open PDFs in different windows, You can also open multiple PDFs in different tabs in the same window. This manual method gives users more flexibility to edit the document while comparing them at the same time.

Besides that, if you find any difference, you can edit and modify your PDF with UPDF directly. You can also add reviews and comments to the PDF to record that there is a difference. If you are using a Mac device, you can check our guide on comparing PDFs on Mac.

More Introductions to This PDF Comparison Tool

UPDF expands to a Universal, Productive, Delightful PDF editor. It's so far considered a comprehensive solution for all of your PDF-related concerns. With it, you can edit, annotate, organize, convert, and even redact PDFs with ultimate ease. Some of its exceptional features include:

  • It 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.
  • Users can easily edit the text and images in the PDF document, it supports highlight text in PDF as well.
  • The tool can also let you manage the pages within the PDF file.
  • With it, you can also convert PDF into 14 different formats. OCR conversions to and from PDFs are already supported.
  • Recently, UPDF has integrated with ChaGPT to offer AI-powered features, like summarize, explain, translate, write, and more.

The tool is extremely fast and powerful and is highly suited for heavy PDF workflows. The modern and delightful user interface wins the tool more brownie points. Download and use it for free now!

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UPDF is now on sale, offering its users exceptional advantage at low cost. So, upgrade your version today to get a 60% discount to access its premium features for an unmatched work experience.

Way 2. How to Compare PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

It is also possible to compare two PDF documents using Adobe Acrobat. Adobe Acrobat is so far considered a leading tool in the world of PDF and image editing. Though it's pretty complicated to use, still if you want to try comparing PDFs with it, just follow the below steps:

Instructions on Comparing PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

  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

Disadvantages of Using Adobe Acrobat to Compare PDFs

Owing to the experience of some users, Adobe Acrobat might fail to point out the differences between the PDF files in some cases. Besides this, it's way expensive and complicated to use for non-tech savvy.

Way 3. How to Compare PDFs Online

Besides using offline PDF editors, you can also rely on online platforms to reveal the different points between the two PDFs. To name a few, we have Draftable, PDF24 Tools, and multiple other sites offering comparison features, and the steps are pretty much the same with every editor. The steps to compare 2 PDF files online are as follows -

Instructions on Comparing PDFs Online

  1. Google search compare PDFs 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 files.

In this way, it is possible to compare PDFs online.

compare pdf online

Disadvantages of Comparing PDFs with Online Tools

When comparing PDFs online, you will have to risk your data privacy as online platforms prompt you to upload PDFs onto their sites. These PDFs might then remain safe on the site for a shorter or extended span without any sort of encryption, risking the privacy of your information. Moreover, you can't even access these tools without the internet.

Comparison of the Three PDF Comparing Tools

 UPDFAcrobat StandardAcrobat ProOnline
(Upgrade now)
US$155.88/yearUS$239.88/yearMostly free with file size limitation
Compare PDFsYesNoYesYes
100+ StickersYesNoNoNo
AI-IntegrationYesNoNoDepends on the specific tool
StabilityMinimal to no reported downtimeMight get stuck sometimesMinimal to no reported downtimeMight delay the comparing process depending on the overall load
Overview Rating4.95/54.5/54.7/53.5/5

In short, UPDF stands out as the best pick among all the editors discussed in this article. It's user-friendly, comes with innovative features, supports adding stickers as annotations, and much more!

FAQs on Comparing PDF Files for Changes

Can I compare two PDFs for differences?

Yes, you can rely on multiple PDF editing software or online tools to compare the two PDF files for differences. As an ideal approach, we would suggest going with UPDF!

How do I compare PDF files in Beyond Compare?

Download and install the application. Once done, open the PDF files that you wish to compare and click the View option on the menu bar. Click the popped-up tile icon to select if you want to lay out windows horizontally or vertically. Now, you can compare the two opened PDF files.

Can ChatGPT be used to compare two documents?

Yes, ChatGPT can be used to compare the two documents. But as it doesn't allow uploading of files and has no access to the web, you will have to copy-paste the two articles in the command, no matter their length.


Sometimes when too many versions of the same file are created, comparison becomes an absolute must. 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 do not offer security functions and are limited in functionality as well. Therefore, it is clear that UPDF is a complete PDF suite that performs high-quality PDF comparison at a good cost, it can also set a password to protect PDF and ensure your documents are safe. 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. Get it now.

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