Any good way to compare two documents for similar content?

asked 2021-05-03 04:38:46 +0200

johnnycomelately gravatar image

I have two files which share some content. The documents are about 3,000 words each but likely only share about 500 words in common. These are likely within complete paragraphs but there might be an additional sentence at the start or the end of the paragraph. This makes simple scanning the text visually quite challenging.

When I use Edit -> Track Changes -> Compare Document it seems Writer actually performs a merge with track changes on. While this might be adequate for comparing an older version of one document to a newer version with minor changes, it is completely useless for my current needs.

What I would like to see is the two documents side by side showing differences between the two documents. Something like this: image description

I used tools like this more than 20 years ago. Does LibreOffice not offer such functionality?

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What do you want to do with the comparison if you don't want to update one of the documents or create a new document with your approved changes?

If you want what your screenshot shows then probably best to use that software.

Earnest Al gravatar imageEarnest Al ( 2021-05-03 05:07:29 +0200 )edit

I would love to have the ability to "merge left" and "merge right" between the two files. However, at least show me the differences and the similarities. To assume that "compare documents" really means "merge documents" seems a pretty big assumption. The image is from a website. Not ideal when offline (or have privacy concerns).

johnnycomelately gravatar imagejohnnycomelately ( 2021-05-03 05:25:35 +0200 )edit

You don't have to accept or reject any of the changes, you can look without saving. Or you can accept or reject as needed, then as Save As a different file

If you feel LO doesn't do what you want then you should search for file comparison software. For Windows you could try WinMerge but I'm sure there are plenty more out there. But this is off-topic.

Earnest Al gravatar imageEarnest Al ( 2021-05-03 08:03:46 +0200 )edit