Saturday, October 19, 2013

Highlighting the different between Latex Documents in Windows 7 using Latexdiff

Wondering is there a way how to make a diff for latex files or documents?
The answer is a definite Yes! You need latexdiff which comes with Miktex

Following is a step by step guide for installing it in Windows 7:
You need to install:
  1. Miktex (
  2. Perl (can use Strawberry Perl:

Step By Step Guide
Assume Miktex and Perl Interpreter are installed, and Miktex is installed in "C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\" (Other directory is fine, just adapt accordingly)

  1. Go to  "C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\latexdiff\"
  2. Create a a new folder "perl" in "C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\latexdiff\"
  3. Copy all files in "C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\latexdiff\" to new folder "C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\latexdiff\perl"
  4. Rename all files (without extension) in "C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\latexdiff\perl", with an extension .ple.g., latexdiff to
  5. Add "C:\Program Files (x86)\MiKTeX 2.9\scripts\latexdiff\perl" to the PATH environment (if you are not sure how to do so, see here)
  6. Open Command Prompt, and type in --flatten PreviousFile CurrentFile> diffe.g., --flatten "C:\old.tex" "C:\new.tex" > "C:\Diff.tex"

Below is  a sample for Diff.tex, where you can see what's old (cross out, red color) and new (underline, blue color) easily, pretty cool right :)


  1. Apparently between steps 5 and 6 you must additionally go to the admin settings of Miktex and refresh the FNDB or it will not work (will not be able to find the latexdiff script).

    1. I refreshed FNDB. My CMD shows access is denied message. Need some help here.

  2. Why am I getting this error? Access is denied.

  3. Why am I getting this error? Access is denied.

    1. You should run the command prompt as administrator.

  4. It worked well!
    Simply, but carefully follow all the steps.
    You may have a problem in step 6 while generating "Diff.tex". Try several times.
    Of course, refresh your FNDB with admin privileges (MikTeX Console is another alternative) and get admin access on cmd too.
    Thanks author