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I am attempting to read my student's LaTeX file and leave suggestion/corrections. This is for Win7 and a file of about 100 pages. At a minimum I expect to compare two files and/or show changes with a different color. Which TeX editors are most suitable for this task?

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Not an editor, but perhaps 'latexdiff' is of interest. – Torbjørn T. Apr 2 '14 at 15:37
For any diff viewing, I like meld. For leaving notes in documents, you may like package todonotes. – Raphael Apr 3 '14 at 6:29
up vote 24 down vote accepted

Well emacs of course:-) (M-x ediff to show diffs)

enter image description here

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Emacs. Of course. – mbork Apr 2 '14 at 15:42
+1: for comicsans of course ;) – Claudio Fiandrino Apr 3 '14 at 5:26
Boo! ❤ But I upvoted it. :) – Paulo Cereda Apr 3 '14 at 10:06
@PauloCereda Not sure why you say "Boo" ? I thought you were a big fan of the font. – David Carlisle Apr 3 '14 at 10:08
@David: Comic Sans? Of course. :) – Paulo Cereda Apr 3 '14 at 10:10

There's a tool called latexdiff which highlights differences between 2 tex files. You call it this way:

latexdiff [ OPTIONS ] old.tex new.tex > diff.tex

And then you run pdflatex on diff.tex and you will get a new pdf file which highlights changes in the document (quite similar to the review option in MS Word).

Later edit: If you wish to compare source files (e.g. .tex) then any decent version control software (git, svn etc) provides a diff tool for this purpose.

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As of two days ago the online TeX editor ShareLaTeX has added change tracking to its features. Especially nice is that since it is online and requires you to have an account, it will automatically identify the user who enters the comment.

Here is a link to their blog post explaining the new feature.

It does have some limitations, though. See the big IDE list question for some more info.

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I haven't tried very long files (more than 30-40 page PDF), though, so can't say how compilation times would be impacted if the thesis was all a single .tex. Hopefully, though, it isn't just one long .tex file. – Dennis Apr 2 '14 at 20:53

Another editor is Sublime Text where you can set up LaTeX compilation fairly easy with packages LaTeXTools or LaTeXing and have diff functionality in a variety of ways with

  • Glue A package allowing to access your OS console, so you directly run commands like svn diff.
  • FileDiffs A package allowing to diff different files or sections of files.

Also, there are a lot of packages for integration of version control like svn and git a simple search in the package control repository can unravel a lot of them though I have not personally tried.

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