I would like to highlight changes between two versions of a LaTeX document.

I have both my versions in git. Is there an easy way of generating a output document where all changes are highlighted. So the highlighting should be in the output and not in the source.

The whole purpose is to indicate for my supervisor which changes I made so that he can review and approve them quickly.

  • 3
    Seems like a duplicate of (part of) this question.
    – TH.
    Oct 4, 2010 at 8:01
  • 1
    @TH., not really. Showing differences between two versions and version control in general are two different things. At least both can be used without the other. Jun 22, 2011 at 13:17
  • @Martin: Both questions are about using version control in conjunction with LaTeX. In particular displaying differences. "Also, it might be nice to get a PDF showing what was added and removed in a given revision." The answers to that question (and comments to the answers) answer this one as well. Although, as this question is 7 months old and has been answered, I'm not sure why you're bothering to disagree with my comment.
    – TH.
    Jun 23, 2011 at 3:09
  • 1
    related: Using latexdiff with git Sep 21, 2011 at 13:12

5 Answers 5


  Rewritten answer

Because of the regular structure of typical Latex documents, it's feasible to write a diff-like program that looks at the two Latex source files and creates a compilable Latex diff output where additions and deletions are delineated using macros. With the appropriate macro definitions, you can make these appear as appropriate markup (inline, with changebars) in the compiled diff document.

There are two programs I know of on CTAN that do this, both of which are Perl scripts:

  1. latexdiff, which is the more widely used, and has support for automatic revision acceptance and version control;
  2. texdiff, my preference, which is less sophisticated and I find more predictable. texdiff doesn't try to insert Latex code into the preamble, which means you have to do this yourself, but which means it is more convenient for multifile documents, and for when you want to handle the insert/delete markup yourself.
  • 4
    Can you please give reasons why to use it, or a 2 line introduction how to use it?
    – Peter Smit
    Oct 4, 2010 at 12:58
  • Just to be clear, the current version of my answer is rewritten in light of @PeterSmit´s comment above. Jan 9, 2015 at 18:38
  • You can try latexdiff online here: 3142.nl/latex-diff Nov 18, 2016 at 17:02

A less automated way with respect to texdiff is changebar. Use in this way:

...some text
the text you modified
some text...
\cbdelete %to be put where some text have been deleted

from \cbstart to \cbend a grey bar is displayed near the text. \cbdelete will display a little grey square instead.

  • 1
    Oh, this is great! I have been meaning to look up if there is a package that does exactly this. You pre-empted my asking. Oct 4, 2010 at 17:42
  • 1
    This package does not seem to work with revtex templates. The commands are processed without error but changebars never show up. I then used the changes package instead. Anyway, still like your suggestion.
    – engineer
    Nov 16, 2016 at 7:16

Latexdiff is a nice perl script for this purpose.


I created revdiff to build diff versions of my papers before sending them to reviewers. They have told me several times that the result was really helpfull. Hope it can be useful for you.

Find it here: http://pedromateo.github.io/revdiff-LaTeX/

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! This seems interesting, but you should add some more information besides the link. A small example of code would do.
    – egreg
    Apr 28, 2016 at 11:02

wdiff, like this:

wdiff -w "\fbox{" -x "}" -y "\fbox{\fbox{" -z "}}" ...

  • What does this exactly do?
    – Peter Smit
    Oct 4, 2010 at 17:19
  • 2
    It puts a box around the words that you deleted, and a double-box around the words you added. But this doesn't work completely well with latex when there are commands involved in the changes, as then the braces may not pair up correctly. See also the documentation for texdiff that Charles mentioned earlier. Oct 4, 2010 at 17:45
  • if you don't like the box and double box, you can always change \fbox in the above command to something like \colorbox and have it put a colored box around it instead.
    – Mica
    Oct 4, 2010 at 19:50
  • latexdiff and texdiff handle word differences but are TeX-aware. Oct 6, 2010 at 9:57

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