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As a paralegal at a law firm, your desk is often piled high with PDF documents, ranging from investment agreements to legal briefs. Your job involves carefully comparing these documents to ensure their accuracy.

That's why I prepared this step-by-step tutorial to walk you and professionals like you through how to easily compare PDFs. 

Ready? Now, let's get into the steps of how to compare PDFs.

How to compare two PDFs? 

Comparing PDFs is essential to ensure consistency, verify revisions, and identify discrepancies. 

It’s a vital process for maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the information in documents, especially in environments where precise details matter, such as legal, financial, and academic settings.

Most of the time, multiple people edit copies of the same document, meaning that  you'll likely encounter multiple versions of the same contract, whether that’s from revisions or collaboration. 

Comparing versions efficiently and accurately is crucial for ensuring you have the most up-to-date and correct information. 

Let’s look at how you can compare documents with Macro and Adobe Acrobat. 

How to compare PDFs with Macro

Macro is a versatile and user-friendly PDF editor that helps you compare PDFs with ease. It's the perfect solution for file comparisons. It includes an intuitive “Compare” feature that lets users to place two or more PDFs side by side, automatically highlighting any variations between documents. 

Macro’s PDF Reader also provides a way to generate a detailed comparison report, that summarizes where edits have been made, and by whom, which is instrumental in the consolidation phase of any contract. 

Here's how to compare two PDF files in Macro 👇

Step #1 Launch Macro and choose the “Compare” icon

Start by downloading Macro’s free PDF Reader. After installing it, launch the software and click the “Compare” icon on the left-hand side. 

This will open a dialogue box where you can select files you want to compare.

Step #2 Choose PDF files to compare

In the dialogue box, select “Add Original file” and “Add Revised file” for the two documents. This will automatically place them side by side, with the “Original” document on the left and the “Revised” document on the right.

Step #3 Compare the two PDF files

Once the two documents have been loaded, click the green play-like button to kickstart the process. Macro’s PDF Reader will automatically highlight any differences between them. 

The software uses color coding to indicate changes, making it easier to spot them. 

Step #4 View results

After you've run the comparison, you can choose whether to view the results as a PDF or a DOCX file. Then, just click “Preview” to see the results in Macro. The first page gives you a summary of all the differences between the two files.

Note: You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll through pages and compare different sections in detail.

Step #5 Save your comparison report

After reviewing differences between the two PDFs, you can save your comparison report for future reference. 

To do this, click the “Save” button and choose where you want to save it.

Note: For accuracy, ensure both PDFs have the same page layout and orientation.

Method #2 How to compare PDFs with Adobe Reader

If you're familiar with Adobe Reader, comparing PDFs is a breeze. Adobe Reader, one of the most widely used PDF tools, offers a built-in comparison feature that can help you spot the differences between two PDF documents quickly and efficiently. 

This method is convenient if you rely on Adobe's software for viewing and editing PDFs regularly.

Here's how to do it in just a few steps:

Step #1 Open the Adobe Reader

Open Adobe Reader and go to the “See all Tools” tab.

Step #2 Click on “Compare Files”

From the “All Tools” menu, select “Compare Files.

Step #3 Select the two PDFs you want to compare

Click “Select File” on the left side to choose the older file version you want to compare.

Click “Select File” on the right to choose the new file version you want to compare.

Step #4 View results

Once selected, click “Compare” and wait for Adobe Reader to analyze the documents. Adobe Reader displays the results in a new document. The first page provides an easy-to-scan summary of all the file differences.

Step #5 Review results

Click “Go to First Change” to review each file difference between the two documents in detail.

Note: To select another version for the old or new file, choose “Change File”, and select the desired version. Use the swap arrows icon between thumbnails to swap the position. You can ignore differences between the graphic elements by selecting the “Compare text-only”. You can review changes either by using the side-by-side view or the single-page view.

Why choose Macro over Adobe?

Regarding the comparison of files, Macro has some great advantages over Adobe. Here's why you should use Macro for your document comparison needs:

  1. Compare more than text changes: Unlike Adobe, Macro doesn't just capture text changes; it also identifies text removals or movements. You will get all the modifications and a complete overview of the document changes.
  2. Compare more than 2 files: Macro understands that document collaboration involves multiple people. With Macro, you can compare unlimited document versions, see who made each change with color patterns, and even track the contributors. It's all about working together, something Adobe can't do as well.
  3. Accept or reject changes: Macro's advanced Word Editor lets you easily accept or reject changes, making it easy to finalize your document. You can quickly open compared versions in Macro's PDF and Word Editor, make necessary edits, and seamlessly integrate them into the final file.
  4. Export to Word or PDF: Once you're done with your edits, Macro makes it simple to export your final file to different formats like PDF or DOCX. This means you can easily share your document with others in their preferred file format.
  5. Tailored for complex documents: Macro is designed to handle long and complex documents. It accurately compares modified texts, graphs, images, and tables, making it the ideal choice for knowledge work and intricate projects.

With its extensive features and user-friendly interface, Macro is the preferred tool for comprehensive document comparison and collaboration. It outshines Adobe in terms of functionality and versatility. 

Read and edit documents faster with Macro.

Looking for a convenient solution to compare PDFs? Skip the hassle and switch to Macro — the most powerful platform for comparing PDFs. 

With Macro's intuitive features, comparing PDFs has never been this seamless. Added to this, you can easily merge and split documents, sign PDFs, and add annotations.

So why waste your time and effort with manual comparisons when you can let Macro streamline your workflow and save you time while ensuring accuracy in document comparisons?

And next time you're wondering “how to compare PDFs,” remember Macro is here to help.

Download the Macro app for free and simplify your PDF comparison process!