Working with binary file types like the Microsoft Word XML Format Document
, the OpenDocument Text
format and the Portable Document
With a simple configuration change and some open source, cross-platform tools, git can be adapted to diff those formats as well.
Installing the tools
First, one needs the tools which can convert the binary files to plain text
formats. For most formats like
, the open source
tool Pandoc  will do the trick. It can even export those files to Markdown
format, or (my personal choice) reStructuredText . A markup language like
reStructuredText makes it possible to make a detailed comparison between
structured documents, for instance when the heading level changed.
There's a tiny catch with
, as it has issues using stdout as
output, instead of writing to files. This is …