Use comparepdfcmd to compare two PDF files using the command line. In a console (i.e., in a Command Prompt window opened by running cmd.exe) enter, e.g., comparepdfcmd.exe -r report.pdf old.pdf new.pdf. If there are any differences report.pdf will be output with each pair of pages from old.pdf and new.pdf shown side-by-side with differences color highlighted (as with a highlighter pen).
This commercial console (command line) program for Windows is ideal for testing, quality assurance, scripted comparisons, and regression testing. It is fast and cloud-free: comparepdfcmd runs on your own computer without the size or page limits of online tools—some customers compare PDFs with thousands of pages. Customers include publishers, banks, insurers, and Governments. (See also Why Compare PDFs?)
comparepdfcmd can say whether two PDFs—or two folders of PDFs—are the same or different, and it can optionally output one or more reports that show any differences. The reports can be output in PDF format, or as PNG images, or in CSV format suitable for spreadsheets or regression testing, or JSON or XML format.
Comparisons can be made based purely on the text regardless of margins and word-wrap, or based on appearance (which accounts for fonts, colors, layout, diagrams, images, etc.)
If you require an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) tool, use DiffPDF.
"Your software is the best I've ever used for comparing PDFs.", —customer feedback.
You can try comparepdfcmd free for up to 20 days using a trial license key. And you can buy a full license key for comparepdfcmd that has no time limit for $160 USD plus local sales tax (or local equivalent for many major currencies) using the secure MyCommerce platform. Tiered price discounts are applied if you buy at least 10 license keys—these are shown when you click Buy Now. (Purchasing departments: comparepdfcmd's Product ID is 300913524.)
comparepdfcmd is a 64-bit application that will work on 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, on computers that have x86-compatible processors, i.e., almost all desktop and laptop computers. (If you require a 32-bit application, use diffpdfc.)
To get a free trial:
comparepdfcmd.exe tryThis will acquire a free trial license key over the internet and then register it. The program will then be ready to use.
You will probably find it convenient to add comparepdfcmd to your PATH. How to do this is explained in the manual, along with full details of all comparepdfcmd's features. The manual is included in the package and can also be viewed online: comparepdfcmd2.pdf (~225 KB).
If you want to buy one or more licenses, visit Buy Now or run comparepdfcmd.exe buy. Once you've completed your purchase the confirmation page will show an Order ID. The Order ID and a “get key” link will be emailed to you. You can then use the Order ID or the link to acquire as many license keys as you purchased on each computer you want to use. Once you have bought a license, run comparepdfcmd.exe getkey order-id to acquire the key, and then comparepdfcmd.exe register key to register it.
We recommend trying before buying, since license key purchases can't be refunded.
Note that each free trial and full license key is tied to the particular computer it is acquired on. Each such license key is valid for all minor and patch versions (e.g., if acquired for version 2, it is valid for all 2.x.y versions). There is no time limit for full license keys—providing the hardware (and how Windows reports it)—don't change. Annual keys are valid for all minor and patch versions, and have a one year time limit. They are not tied to any particular computer. Annual keys are only available in selected countries to selected customers, and have a minimum order, so the minimum purchase is at least $1,800 USD; their Product ID is 300917580.
All license types are governed by the comparepdfcmd-license.pdf (28 KB).
If you want to automate lots of PDF comparisons you might find it helpful to output reports in .pdf, .csv, .json, or .xml format and to use our free retest console (command line) program for Windows and Unix. Retest makes it simple to automate black box regression testing.
Here is one example use of the program:
C:\Users\me>comparepdfcmd -v -s -r report.pdf oldfile.pdf newfile.pdf Wrote "report.pdf"
Here the two PDFs have some different text (compared word-by-word which is the default), and because of the -r or --report option, the differences are shown highlighted in the file report.pdf. In addition, due to the -s or --show option, the report.pdf differences report will be shown in your PDF reader. The message was output because the -v or --verbose option was used. If they had the same texts the output on the console would have been Same, no report would have been produced, and no report would be shown in your PDF reader.
Here is another example use of the program:
C:\Users\me>comparepdfcmd -f pdf -R reportdir -S summary.csv oldpdfdir newpdfdir
This run compares each PDF file in the oldpdfdir directory with a PDF file in the newpdfdir directory that has the same name (if there is one). For each pair of PDFs that differ, it produces the requested report in the reportdir with the same name as the original files, and with the differences highlighted. In addition it produces a summary of the differences in the file summary.csv.
Here is an example use with a custom configuration file:
C:\Users\me>comparepdfcmd -C myconfig.ini -r diff.csv file1.pdf file2.pdf
This run reads the configuration from myconfig.ini and outputs a CSV difference report if file1.pdf is different from file2.pdf. The configuration file need only contain those options which you want to set to non-default values. Every configuration file option is explained in the manual.
For a summary of all the command line options run either of these commands:
C:\Users\me>comparepdfcmd -h C:\Users\me>comparepdfcmd --help
All the command line options and configuration file options are listed and explained in the manual: comparepdfcmd2.pdf (~218 KB). This can also be viewed using the program using either of these commands:
C:\Users\me>comparepdfcmd -m C:\Users\me>comparepdfcmd --manual
Here is an extract of a screenshot of a PDF report:
Red change bars in the left margin indicate where changes are, and changes are highlighted by coloring them as if with a highlighter pen.
We always recommend using the most recent release. Old versions are kept available for those who want to use specific previous versions. (For details of the changes between versions, see the Changes page. Annual license keys only work with version 2.1.0 or later.)
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