Comparing PDF and Word Documents

You can compare a PDF document to a Word document. The typical scenario is that a PDF was created from a Word document, but the Word document was later modified and you need to locate those differences.

The PDF file is passed to PDF Converter Assistant to be converted to a Word document. The comparison between the two documents is made within Word, allowing a visual comparison or a textual comparison with the result  displayed in a temporary file that you can save if required.

To compare documents

  1. Select Document > Compare Documents…. The Compare Documents dialog box appears.

  2. Accept the currently active open PDF document offered as the older one, or click Browse… to select a newer one in an Open dialog box. Under Revision, select from any available revisions of the document.

  3. Click Browse… to select the desired Word document in the Open dialog box.

  4. Select a report type for the comparison result: Side by Side or Combined (see descriptions below).

  5. Click OK. Confirm conversion from PDF format and click the Convert All button in the PDF Converter Assistant. A read-only copy of the original PDF file is displayed in Microsoft Word, with .pdf extension.

  6. If necessary, confirm conversion from RTF format for the Word file.

Side by Side report: Scroll both documents synchronously to visually check differences, if any.

Combined report: A consolidated temporary document is created in Word’s Track Changes mode that displays the newer version of the document and indicates visual and textual changes. Changes in text formatting are not considered to be differences.


You can also specify the Word document as older and the PDF as newer.

For this type of comparison, settings in the middle area of the dialog box are not accessible.


To compare parts of documents

The PDF may contain more material than the Word document. Split the PDF document to isolate only the part that should be compared.


To compare special attributes

For a visual comparison, specific attributes in PDF documents such as notes, highlights, markups, watermarks, signatures, etc. are considered as “normal” graphical objects and are included in the comparison.

For textual comparison, texts within text boxes, header/footer texts or stamped texts in PDF documents are considered as “normal” texts, but annotation texts are excluded from the comparison.


You can also compare two PDF documents.

Comparing PDF and Word Documents