# What is latexdiffcite?¶

latexdiffcite is a wrapper around latexdiff to make citations diff properly:

latexdiffcite is a wrapper around latexdiff which, before calling latexdiff, replaces (in temporary files!) citation commands such as \cite{...} with written-out formatted references. It does this by looking up references in a corresponding .bib file or .bbl file and formatting them according to a user-specifiable configuration. latexdiff will then properly mark changes in the citations. The citation format can be heavily customized to match what you are already getting from LaTeX/BibTeX.

latexdiff is a great tool for highlighting changes in LaTeX documents. Unfortunately, when you use citation commands such as \cite{...} in your document, two annoying problems occur:

1. The whole citation command is treated as a single entity, which means that if you add or remove references in a citation command, the whole old line of references [Foo, 2013; Bar, 2012] is marked as removed and the whole new line of references [Foo, 2013; Bar, 2012; Baz, 2014] is marked as inserted, even though only a single reference was changed.
2. Both the old and new references are rendered without linebreaks (in latexdiff‘s default underline/strikethrough style) and may easily extend way off the page if there are many references in the citation command.

latexdiffcite aims to rectify this by replacing all citation commands in the files with written-out references in plain text before running latexdiff. For example, \citep{foo2013, bar2012} might be replaced by [\textit{Foo}, 2013; \textit{Bar et~al.}, 2012]. The format can be customized. Temporary files are used; the original files are kept intact.