Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between PDF and DOC

‘PDF’ vs ‘DOC’

Documents play a very important role in how people communicate with each other. By definition, it’s a work that contains non-fictional writing done to store and share information. In essence, it also acts as a record for all types of transactions and communications between two or more individuals or groups. For various companies and organizations all over the world, document creation and handling is at the core of their every operation.

In this day and age of the computer, there are two popular formats that everyone uses to make and send documents in; PDF and DOC. While many people know what they are for, not many can distinguish their differences. Portable Document Format or ‘PDF’ and Microsoft Word ‘DOC’ are both file formats in which any type of document can be saved in. They are easy to send and can be accessed without much fuss even by people who have no experience in handling them.

But there are inherent differences between these two formats that people who handle documents a lot should know about. For starters, each format was developed by different companies. ‘PDF’ is a brainchild of Adobe Systems while ‘DOC’ is a creation of software giant Microsoft. Each company has also produced software that can be used to create and edit documents in respective file formats; Acrobat for Adobe and Word for Microsoft.

Another big variance between the two file formats is each platform’s ability to edit content. DOC files can be created using Microsoft Word, and it can be saved in PDF format. When a user wants to edit this file, he can go back to Word and do some adjustments there. On the other hand, Adobe created Acrobat to make PDF files but limits its ability to edit content. It’s because PDFs were developed more as a delivery format that can be recognized by all platforms. It’s the reason why very few people make documents using Acrobat. PDF is also an open source so any individual or developer can make editing tools for it as opposed to Microsoft’s proprietary software.

The biggest difference between these two popular file formats can be found in content delivery. Documents created in DOC formats are less accurate and consistent compared to PDF files which retain everything the author has written in the document. Since Microsoft owns exclusive rights to its software, it requires specific settings in order to deliver the same content from one user to another.

One good example for this is when an author uses a font that is not present in the receiver’s computer. Once a document is opened, the computer will automatically substitute another font which is not what the sender intended it to be. This can create problems especially for files that require accurate rendition like letterheads and company logos. Knowing these key differences can help office workers and managers choose wisely when it comes to handling documents.

1. ‘DOC’ was created by Microsoft while ‘PDF’ was made by Adobe Systems.
2. Microsoft Word is used for making and editing DOC files while Adobe Acrobat is for creation of PDF files.
3. Documents created using Word and saved in PDF can be edited using Word while PDFs made using Acrobat can be edited through third-party developers.
4. ‘DOC’ is proprietary while ‘PDF’ is open source.
5. Content delivery in a DOC file is less accurate while a PDF can retain exact content and appearance of documents saved in that format.

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  1. The information is too shallow to help students studing desktop publishing

  2. useful and helpful

  3. Very logical and clear explanation for the average user. Liked summary of article as a recap. Thank you.

  4. This answered my question exactly and I was then able to clearly explain it to my friend who also easily comprehended my explanation from reading this. Very helpful. Clear. Simple explanation. Not as wordy as other sites.

  5. Very clear and concise explanation. This definitely deserves a 5 star rating!!

  6. Ty. I have a windows 7 and i have some emails I need to transfer to word doc. They are not attached. I have a Todhiba laptop. PC

  7. I thank you in advance for your explanation.

  8. Concised and we’ll explained!
    Thank you for this.

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