I would like to manage different versions of an article (or book) made in latex (I assume it is a short article hereafter) . Looks like version control tools and revision control systems are the way to go (I am not familiar with them). Is there a version/revision control tool that shows the difference between two versions of a pdf file? (We could use this for discussion between multiple authors). I hear that tools such as git, hg and svn are not so good at this.

For my purposes, different versions of same (pdf) file being saved as if separate files is okay (memory is not a big concern as the files are small). But, managing different versions is needed, and I would like to have a pdf comparison to help in revisions (showing comparison for the tex files is not good enough for us). I know there are dedicated tools for pdf comparison. But, I would like to know whether there is a tool that do both. Will document management systems do the job?

I prefer o/s independent solutions. Preferably, the tool should allow collaboration on a project.

PS: I asked this question first in stackoverflow because similar questions are well-received there. But, they suggested that I ask the question here.

  • 1
    A pdf files is the result of a "compilation" of the tex files. It is better to store the tex files in a version control tool and not the resulting output.
    – albert
    Jan 31, 2021 at 9:14
  • Git, Hg, Svn and many others can deal with pdf just fine, pdfs after all are just text files (with possible binary chunks). You could use any of them, but your real need is a pdf diff tool that can visually show the differences (built in tools focus on plain text) when plugged into your version control client. Either that or just diff the source latex files.
    – Alejandro
    Feb 1, 2021 at 12:31
  • @Alejandro diff of latex source files is enough for one person, but not suitable for discussion with collaborating authors. In git, it only shows that binary files X and Y differ. I ended up using draftable.com/compare for visual pdf compare. I would like to know if there is a tool can do both version control of source files and pdf (visual) compare. I understand that the chances are small. Feb 2, 2021 at 6:35
  • 1
    @CyriacAntony You need two tools in that case, one for version control and other for pdf diff. You can configure your version control client to use that tool for your pdfs. For example, since you mentioned Git, in TortoiseGit settings you can configure one viewer per file type. Other clients have similar settings too.
    – Alejandro
    Feb 2, 2021 at 12:27


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.