[OS X TeX] diffing latex documents (in Alpha)

Jens Nöckel noeckel at uoregon.edu
Tue Sep 13 21:18:50 CEST 2005

On Sep 13, 2005, at 10:31 AM, Joachim Kock wrote:

> Hello,
> re the current discussion of diff and latex, I just want to point out 
> that
> recent beta versions of Alpha have word-by-word diff support, as I 
> explain
> in more detail below.

There seem to be three levels at which one can do the collaboaration:

If the goal is to compare at the source level:
There is also amazing diff support in emacs/xemacs, in particular using 
M-x ediff. In xemacs (X11), one can also customize this to open a 
graphical toolbar which, among other things, permits to refine diffs at 
the press of a button such that purely white-space (and linebreak) 
differences can be weeded out. By the way, ediff also supports CVS and 
RCS (I have never tried it, though), and merging of two or three files.

If the goal is to compare something that looks like the actual output, 
sharing the document between co-authors, latexdiff seems to be a great 
As was mentioned on this list earlier this year, there is also a 
project in LyX that sounds very interesting:
Unfortunately, even though I think LyX is the most sane LaTeX authoring 
interface around, lyx does not seem to have plans for diff or merge 
functionality, as far as I know.

For collaborators who don't all have or use LaTeX, purely PDF based 
annotation seems to be the best option.  This also applies to 
situations where only one collaborator is in the role of "author" and 
the other parties are perhaps "reviewers". Tiger's Preview is OK for 
that, but I haven't figured out how to automatically make a central 
index of all the sticky notes that I put into a document, so that the 
collaborator knows where to look for my comments... I guess Acrobat is 
still the best choice then.


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