Are PDF Files Better Than Word Documents? Here’s What You Need to Know


When it comes to document file formats, there are two main contenders, with Adobe’s PDF facing off against Microsoft’s Word doc in a true clash of the titans.

This creates something of a conundrum for users, as you might wonder which file type is better for your needs. To help you choose, here is a look at the main perks and pitfalls of each.

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One of the main selling points of PDFs is that they can display content in an incredibly consistent way, across any device or platform which has a compatible reader program installed.

So while Word may struggle to retain the formatting of a document as you view it across different versions of the software or open it with another platform entirely, a document made as a PDF will always be consistent.

Furthermore since you can use a PDF to Word editor to make changes to docs saved in the aforementioned format, you do not have to worry about being restricted in terms of integrating alterations in the future, as and when they become necessary.


While Word docs are not perfect, they do benefit from being a bit more flexible than PDFs, at least from a certain perspective.

Aside from being simpler for anyone to open and edit, even if this does create the consistency of formatting issues covered above, they are also more flexible in terms of how they can be exported.

For example, if you want to create a document using Word and then save it as a PDF so that it can be shared with others, this is entirely possible.

Merging & extracting

One thing that PDFs do particularly well is allowing users to either combine several separate documents into a single file by merging them, while also making the reverse possible so that you can extract a single page or section from a larger document to use distinctly from it.

Equivalent functionality can be achieved using Word, although this may be trickier if you are trying to merge documents which have been saved under different file extensions at different times. This kind of compatibility snafu can leave you with more work to do.

Making a good impression

There is a reason that PDFs are so widely used in the business world; their portability and compatibility is augmented further by their sheer professional appeal. Because you know that your file will look exactly the way you want it to, you can be confident that whether you are publishing a white paper, sharing product documentation, sending out your resumé or issuing an invoice that it will give the recipient the right impression.

Of course in reality you will not need to make a blanket decision to only use PDFs or Word documents; it is best to familiarize yourself with both so that you can put each to use in the circumstances that are most suitable, to reap the benefits that are available.