Tips to help you decide between Word and a PDF

PDF and Word documents are the two most commonly used types of documents. They have their use in different situations. For writing and editing, a Word document is appropriate. On the other hand, PDFs are relevant for viewing, reading, printing, and editing. 

Following are some scenarios that will help you decide which document format will work for you.

Merging multiple files 

PDF allows us to combine files from many file formats, such as PDF, Word, Excel, and Presentation, into a single PDF. It also provides flexibility in transforming your content, like converting your file format from PDF to Word, and eliminates the need to convert each document separately into a PDF file before combining. If you are looking for the flexibility to convert your content quickly and easily, setting up a PDF is your best bet.


PDFs are universal as they work on any device and operating system. We need a specific application to open a Word document in its correct format. PDF document doesn’t have such application dependency. 

You can edit PDF and save it back to its original file without affecting its formatting. It gives PDF an added advantage as a simple edit in a Word document can completely change the document’s appearance. It makes them easily shareable and works best for people who work on the go and do not have access to their desktops.

Safety of document 

PDF can contain various contents like text, images, and hyperlinks, making them resemble a web page. Hence it finds its use in online content. 

They provide maximum security for business-related documents with encryption. Word files can be password protected but not encrypted. Encryption makes the file unreadable to users without a password or a key. 

PDF takes lesser storage space even when they contain high-quality images. A PDF is also a great way to preserve precious documents, like family photos and business documents. 

Text processing

Word files can save documents in formats like .doc, .docx, .rtf, .html, out of which the most common format is .doc. It also can add and edit text and images.

Word files, as the name suggests, are ideal for word processing. It includes features such as spelling and grammar checks to help with writing. Drafting large documents and documentation is done on Word. 


While there are ways to edit PDF, it has limited features for text editing. If a document has various edits in font style and formatting, Word is the best choice for its text editing features.  

Images are easy to extract from a Word document. It takes time to extract photos from a PDF.


To get the advantage of both of these formats, it is best practice to use them both and convert them interchangeably as and when required. Word contains a variety of functions that make it useful for word processing. However, if the document has limited text editing capabilities and visuals, PDF is the better alternative for the task.

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