Difference between PDF and DOC

Key Difference: PDFs are an open format for document exchange that is used to represent documents in a way manner free of the application software or operating system. Documents or DOC is a filename extension for word documents, commonly in Microsoft Word Binary File Format and is a widely accepted word processing document.

In today’s generation, where computers are part of everyone’s lives and businesses, documents play an important role in daily activities. Documents are used in school and colleges for writing up papers and projects and also in businesses for legal documents, contracts, etc. PDF (Portable Document Format) and DOC (Document) are two types of document formats that are used most commonly. Both of these formats differ from each other in many ways.

PDFs are an open format for document exchange that is used to represent documents in a way manner free of the application software or operating system. It was developed and released by Adobe Systems co-founder John Warnock, who outlined a “Camelot” system in 1991 which was the basics for PDF. The PDF specification was made free of charge in 1993 and was released as an open standard in 2008. Adoption of PDF files was slow, as it was not widely available and earlier versions did not have external hyperlink support. These days PDFs are a popular choice as it encapsulates the complete description of a document, including text, fonts, graphics, etc and also has the the ability to display 2D vector graphics, 3D drawings along with a variety of other data formats.

PDF file formats are compatible with any operating systems, are also supported by smart phones and can also be viewed using web browsers. When converting a regular document to a PDF file, it automatically reduces the size of the file, without sacrificing the quality of the document. A main reason for the popularity of PDF files are the privacy features, such as password protection and the fact that it cannot be easily edited. These makes the files perfect for use by universities, businesses and legal advisors. Adobe has also provided the PDF reader software for free download from its website.

Documents or DOC is a filename extension for word documents, commonly in Microsoft Word Binary File Format and is a widely accepted word processing document. Originally, the extension was used for documentation in plain text, specially for programs written for computer hardware and software. In the 1983, Microsoft chose the doc extension for their Microsoft Word (MS Word) program. The doc format was employed in Word versions of 97 to 2003, but in the 2007 version, Microsoft replaced the doc format with Office Open XML format as default, though Word can still produce doc files. The new word files now come with the extension “docx”.

Doc files are compatible with any operating system, though the person will have to purchase the Microsoft Office software. Recently, free software programs such as KWord, OpenOffice, and AbiWord have been launched to also view and edit document files. The Microsoft Word software has the ability to produce and distribute documents utilizing a writing tool set. Documents can also include formatted text, charts, graphs, tables, images, print settings and page formatting. Word files can also be converted into PDF documents.

PDF documents succeed Word documents when it comes to printing, publishing content online, storing documents, protecting documents, combining multiple formats in a document, easy transferring and availability. PDF create a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) file, which produces high quality printed documents and due to it compressing files to smaller size the document is easy for online publishing, storing and transferring. Word documents on the other hand work best when a person needs to reuse images or text from the document, as images in PDF files are embedded and cannot be reused or copied; word processing and editing (PDF files do not allow easy editing). Depending on one’s need, either or both can be used for the same file, as a file can be created in Word and then converted to PDF for easy transferring and storage.

 

PDF

DOC

File extension

.pdf

.doc

Developer

Adobe Systems

Microsoft

Initial release

1993

1983

Open standard

Yes

No

Definition

PDF, an abbreviation of Portable Document Format, is an open format for document exchange.

DOC/doc, an abbreviation of document, is a filename extension for word processing documents.

Reading software

Adobe Acrobat Reader

MSWord, KWord, OpenOffice, or AbiWord

Compatibility

Windows, Linux, Mac and smart phones

Systems that have accessibility to word reading software

Protection

Can be password protected; does not allow editing; retains exact appearance

Difficult to password protect; can be edited by anyone with Word; can change format if not available

Uses

Legal documents, online transfer, business documents, e-books, etc

Writing and editing documents, memos, letters, projects, etc

Benefits

High quality printing, online availability, archiving, protection, combines multiple formats, free viewing software, smaller file size

Reusing images and text, word processing, editing

Image Courtesy: seeklogo.com, winona.edu

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