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I have two latex source files, one created by me and the other modified by a colleague.

Introduced modifications, unfortunately, also regard line breaks and spacing (source text line breaks, not latex ones), so that it is difficult for me to compare the files with standard unix text tools.

So I wonder if there is some latex text processor that could reduce both files to a common form, where could be simpler to spot the essential differences and hide/normalize the inessential ones. A sort of beautifier, like tidy for html.

Alternatively, I would ear some advices on how others approach such problem.

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This may be of help: LaTeX code sniffer and/or beautifier? – Werner Oct 7 '11 at 8:17
up vote 13 down vote accepted

I think latexdiff (shipped with both MiKTeX and TeX Live) might be what you're after. According to the Perl script package description, it provides visual mark up of visible changes, as well as changes not affecting visible text is marked in the source code.

I have not used it myself and cannot attest to how efficient it is at addressing your needs.

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Wonderful, thank you! – enzotib Oct 7 '11 at 8:52
I use latexdiff quite alot, and really like it. Combining latexdiff with a version control system like git is even better. See this post for more info: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1325/using-latexdiff-with-git – Paul Hiemstra Feb 9 '12 at 22:25

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