PDF and Word are two of the most widely used and widely known document formats in this Age of Technology and for several reasons. Documents take up a huge role in many people’s lives, and since they can be seen everywhere, from schools to offices, they could be both considered ubiquitous and useful. With the rise of the Internet, making, editing, and sharing documents has never become easier and faster. There are so many document formats you can choose from, and it has now become easy to convert one document format to another.
This is the case with Word and PDF, and many methods to convert one to the other and vice versa exist today. But what are the differences between the two popular document formats, and why is Word-to-PDF conversion common? This article will explain the main differences between these two in terms of their characteristics.
The ability of a document to be edited is something that sets document formats, from Word to PDF, apart. After all, documents contain information such as text, numbers, and sometimes even photos and graphs. So modifiability is one feature that every document format should have. Some document formats are easy to edit, while others limit the type and number of alterations you can do on a file. Because Word documents are a read-and-write file, they are remarkably easy to edit using a lot of word processing software, including Microsoft Word. It could show both what the file would look like on print and what it looks like when being modified.
PDF documents, on the other hand, are different. They are read-only files, which means that you may not be able to edit or remove some or all of the content of the file. You could only add comments and signatures on the file using special software, notably Adobe Acrobat Reader. PDF files tend to show what the document will look like when printed. This may seem a disadvantage, especially if the file in this format needs to be edited, but this feature serves a good purpose, which will be discussed in the next chapter of this article.
This may not seem to be a feature that most people take advantage of, and it is unfortunately true. But security features are an essential characteristic of some document formats, as they ensure that no one can edit them or even open them without the permission of either the user or the owner. Without such a feature, anybody could simply open and either edit or remove some of the content in the document without permission from the author of the document. Some documents have robust security features while others offer little or even no security at all. Some Word documents could be protected so that they could not be suddenly opened without any permission from the user or owner of the file.
However, this is not the case with PDF documents. PDF files are some of the most popular and commonly used documents that feature encryption through passwords. A password could be set on the document, usually using Adobe Acrobat Reader, to increase the security of the file. After a password has been created for the PDF document, the person who will open the document would then need to enter the password first before he or she could open the file or he or she will not get access to it at all. This feature is a double-edged sword for many people since it could ensure that the PDF document will not be compromised or accessed without permission, but it could also make printing and accessing the file more difficult.
Word and PDF have their purposes. And this is the reason why the two document formats have different characteristics from one another. Since it is easy to create and edit documents on Word, this file format is often used when someone wants to start making a document from scratch or if one wants to edit an already existing file. This feature, nonetheless, could also be a disadvantage since the content in a Word document could suddenly be altered when opened using a different word processing software or app on a different computer or mobile device. PDF documents, on the contrary, do not suddenly change when opened on a different mobile device or computer or even on different software that reads PDF files aside from Adobe Acrobat Reader. As PDF files limit the alterations that could be done on the document, they are perfect file formats for sharing and printing.
Word and PDF are two different, but useful document formats that we all use in our everyday lives. From school reports to office documents, both these two documents are widely used in various settings, and they have their advantages and shortcomings. Nonetheless, there will be instances when one document format becomes more necessary than the other one, which raises the need for file conversion. One of the quickest, most convenient, and effective ways to convert Word to PDF and vice versa is PDFBear. PDFBear is a website that allows you to convert Word documents to PDF files on any device and any browser safely and quickly. All you need is an Internet connection, and a device with a browser such as a smartphone or a computer, and you can use their service. No sign-ins or payment is needed.