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I need to compare two versions of a document that I have in PDF form. This document consists mainly of text with figures. I don't care about the formatting details, but I do care about more than the raw text, I want to see at least what figures have changed.

I've found two types of PDF comparison software, neither of which suits me.

  • Text-only comparisons, basically running pdftotext and diffing the output (e.g. as with pdfdiff). That tells me nothing about figures, and depending on formatting (e.g. with tables) the text isn't always readable.
  • Purely graphical comparisons, e.g. DiffPDF or diff-pdf. Both are pretty nice to compare formatting tweaks, but they're page-based so they stop producing useful results as soon as copy or even formatting changes have changed the positions of page breaks.

This SuperUser thread mentions other possibilities that I haven't tried because they're Windows software.

I'm looking for something in between, that will show me differences highlighted in some way, with formatting (mostly) preserved (including font choices, tables, etc.), and with figures in the right place, and which remains useful when page breaks are at different places relative to the text.

I need this running on Linux (no web apps, it must be usable for confidential documents and offline), free at least in cost (open source preferred).

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