How to Compare Your PDFs on Mac Quickly and Accurately

Fri. 14 Jul. 20239293
Looking for a way to compare PDFs quickly and accurately? Perform all PDF comparisons with PDF Reader Pro Mac work within 5 minutes.
How to Compare Your PDFs on Mac Quickly and Accurately

When dealing with financial reports or legal instruments, the content of your PDF files may change over time. Using a PDF comparison tool can be immensely helpful to ensure accuracy and identify any missing information from earlier versions. 

With PDF Reader Pro Mac, you can quickly and visually compare two PDFs, highlighting the differences and making it easier to track changes or make necessary adjustments. This article will guide you through the simple process and show you how to complete a document comparison in just five minutes, saving you time and effort.

Before we begin, let’s set you up with the right document comparison software. One that will bring you full clarity regardless of the content in your PDF document and base file types. 

The PDF Software Designed For Flawless Comparisons

Discover our advanced PDF comparison feature and say goodbye to time-consuming manual comparisons. Dive into the smallest details, spot differences in an instant, and streamline your workflow.

Don't let crucial changes slip through unnoticed - Get PDF Reader Pro for Mac today and see the difference in your productivity!


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5 Easy Steps to Compare PDFs with PDF Reader Pro Mac

Let's start with PDF Reader Pro's advanced features and straightforward comparison processes, like the Side-by-Side View. This mode is ideal if your documents contain texts and images for publication. On the other hand, if you're dealing with mechanical parts or detailed images, the Compare by File Overlay mode is more suitable. 

Image source: PDF Reader Pro

Let's get started with your comparison options:

  • Step 1: Download and launch PDF Reader Pro Mac.
  • Step 2: Find the Advanced Editing Tools on the homepage, click Compare Files and import the old and new PDFs you want to compare.
  • Step 3: Select the desired compare display mode. For Side-by-Side View, you can adjust options, such as:

    • Page Range: Select the specific page bracket you’d like to access.
    • Compare text only: Compare the text of two documents, ignoring images and graphics. We recommend this mode for code or plain text documents.
    • Compare image only: Compares the image content in two documents, ignoring text and formatting, which is appropriate for documents that need to compare differences in images, such as design drafts or image documents.

  • Step 4: Click on Compare at the bottom right corner and review the results:

    • The documents will be marked with colors to indicate deletions, replacements, and insertions.
    • The two PDFs will be displayed side-by-side, with the old document on the left and the new document on the right.
    • Thumbnail previews in the left sidebar allow for quick navigation.

  • Step 5: Save and export the results in three ways:

    • Save as an Old Document: Export the old file and mark the difference between the old and new files. 
    • Save as a New Document: Export the new file and mark the difference between the old and new files.
    • Save as Another New Document: Both comparison results are imported into the new PDF document. 

Compare PDFs via Compare by File Overlay

Regarding comparing PDF documents, PDF Reader Pro Mac offers a powerful feature called Compare by File Overlay. This method lets you visually identify differences between two PDF files by overlaying them on a single page. With PDF Reader Pro Mac, you can quickly and accurately compare your PDFs, highlighting the areas where changes have occurred. 

Image source: PDF Reader Pro

This section will guide you through the steps to perform PDF comparisons using the Compare by File Overlay feature, ensuring you can easily spot any variations between your old and new PDF documents.

Let’s get into it:

  • Step 1: Find the Advanced Editing Tools on the homepage, click Compare Files and import the old and new PDFs you want to compare.
  • Step 2: Select Compare by File Overlay mode and adjust the Settings, such as:
    • Document Opacity 
    • Stoke Color 
    • Blend Mode, for better contrast.

  • Step 3: Click on Compare at the bottom right corner to view the results. The overlapping areas between the two files will be displayed in different colors, clearly highlighting the differences.
  • Step 5: Save and export the results.

Best Practices for Comparing PDFs

To ensure accurate and efficient PDF comparisons, following best practices and utilizing helpful tips and tricks is important. Consider the following recommendations to enhance your PDF comparison process.

1. Organize Your Files

Before working on a file for comparison, ensure that your files are well-organized. Give clear and meaningful names to your PDF documents, including version numbers or dates, to avoid confusion. Keeping a structured file system will make it easier to locate and compare the correct versions of your documents.

Image source: PDF Reader Pro

2. Use Clear and Consistent Naming Conventions

Use clear and consistent naming conventions when saving the compared PDFs or exporting the comparison results. This helps in identifying the files later and provides clarity when sharing or archiving the compared documents. Being ordered is especially helpful if you’re using a manual comparison method. 

3. Check for Metadata Changes

Besides textual and visual differences, consider checking the metadata of an original PDF file for any changes to your modes for comparison. Metadata includes document properties, authorship details, and creation dates. Comparing metadata can be valuable in tracking modifications beyond the visible content.

4. Review Before Finalizing

After completing the comparison process with something like an online comparison tool, take the time to review the results before finalizing any changes or decisions. Carefully analyze the differences highlighted and cross-reference with the original requirements or objectives. This step ensures you make accurate and informed decisions based on the comparison results.

5. Utilize Commenting and Annotation Tools

PDF Reader Pro Mac offers a range of annotation and commenting online tools that can be incredibly useful during the comparison process. Use features like text highlighting, strikethrough, or adding comments to specific sections of the compared documents. This facilitates collaboration and enables clear communication regarding the identified differences.

Tips and Tricks for Efficient PDF Comparisons

It can take some time to master our powerful comparison technologies. We recommend getting to grips with our additional content and tips and tricks! 

1. Adjust Zoom Levels

Adjusting the zoom levels can greatly enhance your ability to spot differences between PDF documents. Zoom in to focus on specific sections or zoom out to get a broader view of the entire document. Experiment with different zoom levels to find the one that suits your preference and improves your ability to identify changes accurately.

2. Utilize Keyboard Shortcuts

Familiarize yourself with PDF Reader Pro Mac keyboard shortcuts to streamline the comparison process. Keyboard shortcuts can help you navigate through pages, switch between modes, highlight text, and perform various other actions more efficiently. Refer to the software's documentation or help section to learn the available shortcuts and incorporate the extra content into your workflow.

3. Customize Highlighting Colors

PDF Reader Pro Mac allows you to customize the highlighting colors used during the comparison process. Experiment with different colors to find combinations that provide optimal visibility and make it easier to differentiate between various types of changes, such as deletions, replacements, or insertions.

4. Save Incremental Versions

Consider saving incremental versions of your compared PDFs as you make changes or progress through the comparison process. This ensures that you have a record of each step and allows you to revert back to earlier versions if needed. Incremental versioning also helps maintain a clear audit trail of the comparison process.

5. Regularly Update Software

To ensure the smoothest experience and access to the latest features, keep your PDF comparison software, such as PDF Reader Pro Mac, up to date. Regularly check for updates and install them promptly to benefit from any enhancements or bug fixes that might improve the comparison process.


By following these best practices and implementing the provided tips and tricks, you can enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your PDF comparisons. PDF Reader Pro Mac offers a powerful set of features and tools to facilitate your document comparisons, making it a reliable companion for your PDF management needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Comparing PDFs

There's plenty more to learn about comparing PDFs. Why not check out our FAQs if you have any gaps in your understanding?

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Q1: Why should I compare PDFs?

Comparing PDFs is essential for identifying the type of differences between two document versions. It helps ensure accuracy, verify changes, and track modifications made over time. Comparing PDFs is particularly useful for proofreading, reviewing contracts, analyzing revisions, or verifying document integrity.

Q2: How can I compare PDFs on Mac?

To compare PDFs on Mac, you can use PDF Reader Pro Mac, a versatile PDF management software. It offers intuitive features such as Side-by-Side View and Compare by File Overlay, which allow for visual comparison of two PDF files, highlighting the variations between them.

Q3: What is Side-by-Side View in PDF comparison?

Side-by-Side View displays two PDF documents simultaneously, providing a detailed and synchronized comparison on separate screens. It allows you to review changes, insertions, deletions, and replacements side by side, making it easy to identify discrepancies.

Q4: What is Compare by File Overlay in PDF comparison?

Compare by File Overlay overlays two PDF documents, stacking them as layers in a new PDF. It visually highlights the differences between the documents, making it easier to identify contrasting areas. This mode is particularly useful when comparing detailed images or designs.

Q5: Can I compare specific pages within PDFs?

Yes, with PDF Reader Pro Mac, you can specify the page range you want to compare within the PDF documents. This flexibility allows you to focus on specific sections or exclude irrelevant pages from the comparison process.

Q6: How do I export the results after comparing PDFs?

After completing the comparison, PDF Reader Pro Mac allows you to save the compared files in different ways. You can save them as separate documents (old and new), or combine them into a single PDF with the comparison results. This flexibility allows you to choose the export option that best suits your needs.

Q7: Are there any recommended best practices for comparing PDFs?

Yes, here are some best practices for efficient PDF comparisons:

  • Organize your files with clear and consistent naming conventions.
  • Review and adjust zoom levels to focus on specific details.
  • Utilize keyboard shortcuts to navigate and perform actions more efficiently.
  • Customize highlighting colors to suit your preference and improve visibility.
  • Save incremental versions of compared PDFs to maintain an audit trail.

Q8: Can I compare password-protected PDFs?

Yes, PDF Reader Pro Mac supports the comparison of password-protected PDFs. However, you will need to provide the correct password to unlock and access the content of the protected files before the comparison process.

Q9: Can I annotate or comment on compared PDFs?

Yes, PDF Reader Pro Mac offers a range of annotation and commenting tools similar to Adobe Acrobat that can be used during the PDF comparison process. You can highlight text, add comments, draw shapes, and more, facilitating collaboration and communication regarding the identified differences. Any future comparison you make will enjoy a standardized folder comparison utility. 

Q10: Is PDF comparison available in PDF Reader Pro for other platforms?

Yes, PDF Reader Pro offers similar PDF comparison features for other platforms such as PDF Reader Pro for Windows. The specific functionalities of our document comparison tools may vary slightly across different operating systems, but the core capability to compare PDFs is available on multiple platforms.

Remember to consult the user guide dialog box or documentation provided by PDF Reader Pro Mac for more detailed instructions and additional features related to PDF file comparison.

Get Started With Comparing PDFs Now

Whether you're in banking, law, or any field where document accuracy is vital, PDF Reader Pro Mac's PDF comparison feature will save you from eye strain and increase your productivity. 

A comparison file needs a proper document comparison feature. You simply cannot perform a detailed comparison without a proper desktop comparison tool. No matter what your favorite comparison tools are, make sure that you follow all the correct legal requirements for safe and lawful file comparisons. 

It’s vital that you land your ideal document comparison settings to execute the most informative comparison report. A clean comparison report will provide a clear textual comparison.

PDF Reader Pro’s premium version offers a powerful PDF comparison mechanism and various productivity tools like annotation, batch conversion, editing encrypted documents, and OCR. Download PDF Reader Pro Mac today and simplify your work with a versatile office assistant by your side.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!