Why do people prefer PDFs over Word or Excel Documents?

6 min read

 The portable document format (PDF) is becoming the de facto standard for documents and forms of all types. This file format is extensively used in different sectors, such as law, medicine, and property, as well as in educational institutions, small enterprises, and households. The PDF file format became popular in 2008 after Adobe made it an open standard, leading to its widespread acceptance.

People prefer PDFs because they are secure, reliable, and easy to use. Unlike other document formats, PDFs can be accessed from any device with a web browser, and they remain consistent in their formatting regardless of where they're viewed. 

Furthermore, PDF files are easy to move around, can be included in any network, and only take up a little space. This makes them ideal for sharing and storing across multiple computers or organizations.

PDFs are also difficult to alter and can be password protected, which ensures that sensitive information remains secure. As a result, it is the preferred format for legal documents, contracts, and other confidential materials. 

Here's why it's better to use PDFs instead of the other formats:


The PDF file format is designed to be portable. Unlike Word, Excel, or Powerpoint files that might have missing fonts or images when opened on another device, PDFs contain all the necessary formatting, fonts, images, and tables within the file. This feature of PDF files is easily shareable with anyone without the risk of losing the original formatting.

Universal Compatibility

The PDF file format is the most widely adopted out there. Modern browsers can seamlessly display PDF files, and modern operating systems have pre-installed apps that can open them effortlessly. Therefore, you can view and edit PDF files on any platform without worrying about compatibility issues.


PDF files are a reliable format for sharing documents. They maintain the same formatting no matter where you view them and can contain various types of data, such as images, paragraphs, diagrams, charts, graphics, and more. 

Ease of Creation

You can easily convert documents from MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or any other format to PDF using free and paid software like GoPDF. GoPDF offers an online PDF editing option. This tool lets you easily manage, convert, electronically sign, and edit PDF documents from anywhere. You can use it to edit PDF online without difficulty.  Likewise, you can convert PDFs into MS Word or any other desired format with this same software.


PDF files can be secured using passwords. It is a simple way to ensure that only authorized persons can access its contents. When a PDF file is password-protected, it requires a password to view it. This security feature enables the safe sharing and transfer of files over email or messaging apps. 

Compressed File Size 

PDFs are far more efficient in file size than other document formats. For example, Word or Excel documents with many images and graphs can take up hundreds of megabytes for a single page, while PDFs can reduce that to just a few kilobytes per page. This makes transferring over email or other messaging apps easier because these services often have size limits. However, you can reduce the file size by lowering the quality of the PDF. The PDF file format allows for this, and it can make a significant difference in file size.

Mobile Accessibility

PDF files are accessible on any device, from laptops and phones to tablets. Most mobile OSs have pre-installed PDF readers that allow users to open and view PDF documents on the go without installing a third-party app. This makes it easier for people to access information while away from their computer or laptop. 


PDF provides features such as bookmarks, hyperlinks, and accessibility on the web. Additionally, it can be opened online without the need to be downloaded. When creating a document, MS Word is only preferred to PDF. However, PDF software can now edit without requiring conversion. 


PDF documents convey a professional image that other file formats cannot match. The PDF format has a professional appeal. It is commonly used for submitting reports, sending resumes, exchanging legal documents, or downloading invoices from online services. 

The formatting and layout of PDF documents remain intact on all devices and operating systems, unlike Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. This level of consistency is crucial when sharing documents with clients or other businesses, as it displays your attention to detail and commitment to producing top-quality work. 

Detailed Feedback

The PDF file format allows for annotations and detailed feedback from colleagues or peers. To share your work and receive feedback, simply share a copy of the PDF file.  This way, the original document remains intact, while reviewers can add comments and annotations without changing its content. This makes it easy to track changes without worrying about compatibility issues or missing elements. 


The PDF format offers many advantages over other document formats like Word or Excel. Its portability, universal compatibility, reliability, ease of creation, security features, and file size reduction make it a preferred choice for several industries. It also provides mobile access to documents which makes it convenient to view them on any device with a web browser. As a result, PDFs are here to stay!

Alex 10K
Joined: 4 years ago
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