PDF documents are an excellent way to share some important information, as you can be sure that your colleague will see the file exactly as you see it. It’s really important, as achieving this goal with HTML or Word format is a tricky task.
PDF comparison problem
While PDF solves the formatting challenge, there are certain disadvantages of this format. It’s not that easy to extract text information from PDF document, and without having this information 3rd party compare products cannot compare documents.
Compare Suite supports PDF format and it can extract text for the comparison from PDF documents. An obvious limitation is for PDFs that were created as a result of scanning something.
OCR – work with scanned PDFs
If you scanned some document and created a PDF document, then it needs some additional processing before you can actually compare it against others. This PDF is actually an image packed into PDF, so this image need to be recognized.
The type of software that recognize images and convert them into editable text are called “OCR” (Optical Character Recognition) software. A good toolkit is provided by Abby. Including, they have a web-based OCR which is very handy.
Ever then comparing two PDFs might be a challenging task, as their structure will be broken. Compare tools won’t be able to find synchronization points and get two documents compared.
You might want to switch to “By keywords” compare method in this case. It won’t compare files word by word, but it will highlight all unique and shared keywords, which is a great starting point for the further analysis.
Compare PDF and Word
With Compare Suite you are not limited to PDF-to-PDF comparison only. You can actually compare PDF to Word, or PDF to HTML. Most likely different document structure won’t allow you to run word-by-word comparison, but you can always switch to “By Keywords” for better results.
What users say
Compare Suite definitely makes comparing PDF documents easier. The colour coding of the added, modified, or removed lines makes comparing multiple document quick and painless. Read more…
Nykole Masters, Information Quality Analyst, AHS, Calgary, AB, Canada
We use Compare Suite for comparing various Word, PDF, HTML documents for differences in versions. I also have a few apps that require a comparison tool to be used to tell differences between document versions. Read more…
Terry Bennett, Rusted Works Org., Canada
I convert a PDF phone and address listing to text only and then I compare the previous year’s list to the new one to add on new listings and update information for our mailing list. Read more…
Laura Lujan, Oral Surgery, Toronto. Typist.
I have to compare customers’ invoice files in PDF format. I have been using your product for months and I am very content with it. Read more…
Peter Skerletov, A1 Telekom, Vienna, Austria. Software Tester.
Have you tried comparing two PDFs? What is your secret in making the comparison successful?