I am trying to use latexdiff to compare two tex documents on my macbook pro. I use TexShop to compile my latex documents. I know the latexdiff package is already installed with under the Tex folder, but I do not know how to use it.

I have these questions:

  1. how to use latexdiff? do I click latexdiff then the Terminal shows up? then do I write the command there latexdiff old.tex new.tex > diff.tex?
  2. I have tried this, but I could not write anything in the Terminal. Is this related to security issue or not?
  3. if I want to compare two tex files, where or under what path should I put these two tex files?
  4. do I run latexdiff script in TexShop with macros or applyscript?

I hope someone can give me some suggestion. I would be very grateful

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format.
    – Symbol 1
    Mar 19, 2015 at 7:55
  • For your Q4: Create an engine would help. Then you can compare the current file $1 and some old file $1-old.
    – Symbol 1
    Mar 19, 2015 at 8:00

3 Answers 3


latexdiff is installed in MacTex under /usr/texbin/latexdiff. No need to install it separately. To use latexdiff,

  1. open Terminal;
  2. change the directory to the one where you put old.tex and new.tex; for example, I put my two tex files on Desktop, so I just write cd /Users/xxxx/Desktop in Terminal("xxxx"is my user name);
  3. then write: latexdiff old.tex new.tex > diff.tex.

Job done.


The latex-diff website returned "<filenames> require package ulem to compile", when I tried to use it with my two files. I had commented out this package in my LaTeX files, so I uncommented them and still got this message. As I understand the message, the website itself requires ulem in order to compile the files that are being compared. Strange if it didn't have it.


In fact, there is a very simple solution, just use http://3142.nl/latex-diff/ this service, then generate a new `.tex' file which will produce the desired pdf.

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