Your company here — click to reach over 10,000 unique daily visitors

latexdiff-vc - Man Page

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 control system used.  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.

Note that hg needs to support the --root option (version >= 2.9)

-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 recently checked-in version checked.

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 extensions .tex, .bbl, or .flt, 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 sub-directories 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.)


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 installed). This option also disables internal links (as implemented by hyperref package) and graphics markup. (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.


run latex command on diff file after generation of diff file.


run latex and dvixxx commands after generation of diff file.

-c configfile =item --config var1=val1,var2=val2,... or -c var1=val1,..

Set configuration variables for latexdiff and latexdiff-vc.  The option can be repeated to set different variables (as an alternative to the comma-separated list). Available variables for latexdiff-vc:

LATEXDIFF latexdiff command (e.g. latexdiff-fast, latexdiff-so). This command should support the option --interaction=batchmode

LATEX latex command (e.g. pdflatex, lualatex)

DVI2  Command for conversion of dvi file (e.g. dvips, dvipdf)

BIBTEX Command replacing bibtex
All other config variables are passed to latexdiff. Explicitly set configuration changes always override implicit changes by the following shortcut options --fast, --so, --ps and --pdf.

--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. Note that this is not just a shortcut for setting configuration variable but also triggers  some special behaviour.


Show values of configuration variables.

--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 dependent on the system architecture; it has been tested mainly on Unix-like systems. It also requires 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 https://github.com/ftilmann/latexdiff.git,  or send them to tilmann — AT — gfz-potsdam.de.  Include the version number of latexdiff-vc (option --version).


Version 1.3.2 Copyright (C) 2005-2017 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.


2022-03-05 perl v5.30.0