latexdiff-vc man page

latexdiff-vc — wrapper script that calls latexdiff for different versions of a file under version management (CVS, RCS or SVN)


latexdiff-vc [ latexdiff-options ] [ latexdiff-vc-options ]  -r [rev1] [-r rev2]  file1.tex [ file2.tex ...]


latexdiff-vc [ latexdiff-options ]  [ latexdiff-vc-options ][ --postscript | --pdf ]  old.tex new.tex


latexdiff-vc is a wrapper script that applies latexdiff to a file, or multiple files under version control (git, subversion (SVN), mercurial (hg), CVS, RCS), and optionally runs the sequence of "latex" and "dvips" or "pdflatex" commands necessary to produce pdf or postscript output of the difference tex file(s). It can also be applied to a pair of files to automatise the generation of difference file in postscript or pdf format.


--rcs, --svn, --cvs, --git or --hg

Set the version system.  If no version system is specified, latexdiff-vc will venture a guess.

latexdiff-cvs, latexdiff-rcs etc are variants of latexdiff-vc which default to  the respective versioning system. However, this default can still be overridden using the options above.

-r, -r rev or --revision, --revision=rev

Choose revision (under RCS, CVS, SVN, GIT or HG). One or two -r options can be specified, and they result in different behaviour:

latexdiff-vc -r file.tex ...

compares file.tex with the most recent version checked into RCS.

latexdiff-vc -r rev1 file.tex ...

compares file.tex with revision rev1.

latexdiff-vc -r rev1 -r rev2 file.tex ...

compares revisions rev1 and rev2 of file.tex.

Multiple files can be specified for all of the above options. All files must have the extension ".tex", though.

latexdiff-vc  old.tex new.tex

compares two files.

The name of the difference file is generated automatically and reported to stdout.

-d or --dir  -d path or --dir=path

Rather than appending the string "diff" and optionally the version numbers given to the output-file, this will prepend a directory name "diff"  to the original filename, creating the directory and subdirectories should they not exist already.  This is particularly useful in order to clone a complete directory hierarchy.  Optionally, a pathname path can be specified, which is prepended instead of "diff".


If combined with "--git", "--svn" or "--hg" option or the corresponding modes, check out the revisions to compare in a separate temporary directory, and then pass on option "--flatten" to latexdiff. The directory in which "latexdiff-vc" is invoked defines the subtree which will be checked out. Note that if additional files are needed which are not included in the flatten procedure (package files, included graphics), they need to be accessible in the current directory. If you use bibtex, it is recommended to include the ".bbl" file in the version management.

The generic usage of this function is : "latexdiff-vc --flatten -r rev1 [-r rev2] master.tex" where master.tex is the project file containing the highest level of includes etc.

With "--flatten=keep-intermediate", the intermediate revision snapshots are kept in the current directory (Default is to store them in a temporary directory and delete them after generating the diff file.)

--fast or --so

Use "latexdiff-fast" or "latexdiff-so", respectively (instead of "latexdiff").

--ps or --postscript

Generate postscript output from difference file.  This will run the sequence "latex; latex; dvips" on the difference file (do not use this option in the rare cases, where three "latex" commands are required if you care about correct referencing).  If the difference file contains a "\bibliography" tag, run the sequence "latex; bibtex; latex; latex; dvips".


Generate pdf output from difference file using "pdflatex". This will run the sequence "pdflatex; pdflatex" on the difference file, or "pdflatex; bibtex; pdflatex; pdflatex" for files requiring bibtex.


Post-process the output such that only pages with changes on them are displayed. This requires the use of subtype ZLABEL  in latexdiff, which will be set automatically, but any manually set -s option will be overruled (also requires zref package to  be installsed). (note that this option must be combined with --ps or --pdf to make sense)


Overwrite existing diff files without asking for confirmation. Default  behaviour is to ask for confirmation before overwriting an existing difference file.

--help or -h

Show help text


Show version number

All other options are passed on to "latexdiff".

See Also



latexdiff-vc uses external commands and is therefore limited to Unix-like systems. It also requires the a version control system and latex to be installed on the system to make use of all features.  Modules from Perl 5.8 or higher are required.

Bug Reporting

Please submit bug reports using the issue tracker of the github repository page,  or send them to tilmann -- AT --  Include the version number of latexdiff-vc (option "--version").


Version 1.1.1 Copyright (C) 2005-2015 Frederik Tilmann

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License Version 3 Contributors: S Utcke, H Bruyninckx; some ideas have been inspired by git-latexdiff bash script. C. Junghans: Mercurial Support.


2015-12-26 perl v5.18.2