Does pre-built software exist for determining if a text document as a whole has changed, and also which sentences have changed?

Preferably a webapp.

(This would be useful in a legal context for tracking changes to legal agreements, and the passing of laws, i.e. to make sure that a 6000 page law or agreement isn't just a damn title, that it's actually the contents of what was agreed when the document was last looked at.)

  • If OP is working with legal documents and lawyers, he is almost surely working with MS Word documents. At least that's my experience here in the USA; YMMV. In that case, "TXT" doesn't mean raw ASCII .txt files; it means files contains legal text. I think Jan's edit is wrong and misleading. It would be helpful if OP stepped in and clarified. – Ira Baxter May 30 '16 at 18:51

Microsoft Word will compare two files (under the assumption that one was derived from the other by MS Word editing) and identify the differences in detail.

It doesn't specifically identify sentences that have changed, but it does identify any differences in the text content, as well as differences in formatting/layout, etc.

I have used this many times to compare contract revisions to determine the exact changes made.

I assume you can import two text documents into MS Word, and then do this comparison.

| improve this answer | |
  • The file format is TXT, not DOC. See the comments. Of course you can copy/paste, but that's additional effort. – Thomas Weller May 30 '16 at 8:40

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