Is PDF better than DOCX?

PDF, DOC or DOCX? Choosing the right format for sending documents to journalists.

PDF is an ideal format for distributing formatted documents but It\'s not so great if you want the recipient to re-use the contents. DOCX formats are also good options for distributing documents.

PDF Short for”Portable Document Format,” PDF was originally created by Adobe Systems as a way to exchange and distribute documents with complex formatting. It has two big advantages. First, it’s ubiquitous: Numerous applications can create PDF files, and anyone with the free Adobe Reader software can view them. Second, the format can replicate pretty much anything you see on a printed page.

Microsoft Word Given the popularity of Microsoft Office, Word’s .doc and .docx formats are also good options for distributing documents. They’re reasonably compact, and unlike PDF, files can be easily edited by recipients. You don’t necessarily need Microsoft Office to create or edit these documents — virtually any word processor can do so, including free open-source packages such as LibreOffice.

.doc was the native Word format prior to the introduction of Microsoft Office 2007. One disadvantage is that the files can include macros, custom-written programs that live within the document. Macros can perform many useful actions, and I rely on them heavily in my own work. However, macros can contain viruses or other malware, so opening a .doc file from an unknown source creates the risk that your computer will be infected.

Beginning with Office 2007, Microsoft introduced two new formats: .docx and .docm

.docx is the new standard native format, and unlike .doc, the files cannot contain macros. For that, you need .docm.

If you want to minimize the anxiety factor in your recipients, .docx is preferable to .doc. The downside is that users with older versions of Word won’t be able to open the files unless they have a conversion utility.