This question pertains especially to textbooks (eg: for law, which necessitates new editions every 2 or 3 years), and premises the following:

  1. Writing only broadly and briefly about changes, the authors did not detail or individualise all of them in the newer edition.

  2. It is already too inefficient to reread the prior and newer edition, and then compare each section from each edition side-by-side, of 1 book alone.

  3. 2 is exacerbated by unreliability and human error; your eyes might easily miss something.

  4. The book may or may not be available in a computerised format.

So are there any resources, tips, or tools, such as any program that can discern and highlight all changes between 2 files (ePUB or PDF) input by you?

  • What format are these files? I can provide an excellent answer if they are in plain text format. Nov 27, 2015 at 22:46
  • @RockPaperLizard Thank you. Usually EPUBs and PDFs, but not in .txt. Does this help?
    – user7064
    Nov 27, 2015 at 23:35
  • Yes, that helps quite a bit. Until you get answers, you may wish to search the web for "pdf compare" or "epub compare". Another choice is to export the files as text and use one of the tools recommended by Nicola below. Nov 27, 2015 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


There are a lot of files comparison tools. They all present differences in a visual text format. Some of the more famous ones are:

Web apps

They both allow to upload the files you want to compare, and support a lot of formats, like .pdf and .epub.


  • KDiff3 (current version 2015-05-13 - runs on Linux, Windows, Mac)
  • WinMerge (c.v. 2013-02-02 - supports only Windows)
  • ExamDiff (c.v. March 18, 2011 - supports only Windows)

Also, check this Wikipedia page which, well, compares file comparison tools.

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