Major Distinctions Between a PDF File and Word File

Both PDF and Word are widely popular because of the features they offer. They both are large file formats that facilitate viewing and editing documents. You can easily convert PDF to Word and must have used both of them at some point in time.

While they are quite similar in features and use, they have some distinctions that make them unique. Below we have made a list of these distinctions, so you don’t have to browse through different websites.


The very basic difference between the two is that they have different developers. While PDF was developed and created by Adobe Systems, Microsoft designed and created Word.

Therefore, you can edit PDF through Adobe’s Acrobat, and Word documents are edited via Microsoft Word. Besides the developers, there are other distinctions between the two.

Platform Ability

One of the major distinctions between PDF and Word lies in editing and the overall platform ability. PDF has a relatively restricted platform ability as Acrobat allows you to only create a PDF. The reason for it may be that PDFs are a delivery type of text.

On the other, you can make both documents and PDFs through Microsoft Word. The information that you type down can be saved as both. As a result, editing is also easier in Word. Thus, many people recommend using Microsoft Word rather than PDF.

Content Delivery

The content that is delivered by PDF is more accurate than Microsoft Word. Since Word facilitates easy editing, the authentication of the data gets lost somewhere. Word documents can be modified by anyone who has the file at hand.

On the other hand, a PDF file is more authentic due to its restrictions. A PDF file remains true to the data that the author added in the first place. Not everyone can edit a PDF easily, so content delivery of a PDF file is better.


A PDF file is usually saved as ‘.pdf’; PDF here stands for “portable document format.” On the other hand, a Word file is saved as ‘.doc,’ which is a short form for ‘word document.’

Many people don’t know the full form of PDF, while everyone knows what a doc usually means. So, this is the basic distinction in the format of both files.


As we discussed before, you can easily open your PDF files using Acrobat Reader. Besides that, you can also use the FoxIt PDF Reader. There are several online PDF editors and viewers that can help you out as well.

For a Word File, you can use the suite, Microsoft Word, and the Microsoft Office Suite. Moreover, if you find it difficult to edit your PDF file, you can convert it to a Word document and switch it back to a PDF.

Apart from all these distinctions, PDF files and Word files are mostly the same. You can use them to save data and edit it. You can even print them out easily. Thus, that was all that you needed to know.