PDFs and Microsoft Office file formats (PPT, Excel, Word) are file formats used daily. These formats have their pros and cons:

  1.  Once a PDF is created, the file it will remain the same across no matter the operating system, device or software it’s opened on. However, PDFs can be hard to change;
  2.  MS Office formats, on the other hand, are easy to edit but the content or the layout cannot be ensured to stay the same.

With PDF, its biggest issue is also its main strength - keeping the original content intact. But if you receive a PDF, you may need to convert to MS Office formats to access or edit it. Read the article below to dig into the three main reasons behind this conversion.

 

Editing Needs:

Why the move toward digitization? It’s all about enhancing both work efficiency and productivity. However, as the foundation for the digital document management industry, PDF documents are difficult to change because they are in a fixed format.

To fix the efficiency and productivity problems this can create, users may need to convert the document into a more editable format, one of the most popular formats is Microsoft Office’s Word format (.doc or .docx). It is widely recognized that Microsoft Word is an open document format that has very few obstacles when it comes to making changes to content.

Word allows users to directly edit the text within a document, allowing users to rewrite the content or change the layout quickly. Additionally, Word is a well-known program, and that makes users feel more at ease when dealing with Word-related issues rather than PDF editing programs that may be unfamiliar.

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Inaccessible PDF Reader:

Another reason for converting PDFs into MS Office formats is that a PDF reader may not be accessible. Users must pay the price for available PDF readers. For example, even though Adobe Acrobat Reader is free to download and provides a free trial of its pro features, its large memory size may take an hour or more before installing and it has a high price point.

For other PDF programs, free trials are provided but the duration varies, and users have no clue whether they need to pay for a brand-new tool. Uncertainty becomes an obstruction in the way of productivity.

While reading PDF documents requires PDF tools, Microsoft Word file formats can easily be read and edited at any time. Word formats (.doc and .docx) can be opened and edited in Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Pages on a Mac computer. 

Relatively speaking, when it comes to user-friendliness, Word may be superior to PDF. Converting files from PDF to Word is conducive to word processing, and users won’t worry about purchasing a tool that is otherwise useless.

 

Screen Readers:

For visually impaired or low-vision users, PDF is not a user-friendly format as it doesn’t provide screen-reading tools. However, visually impaired users can easily read Word documents. The reason behind this is that Microsoft Word has placed a premium on providing excellent service for different groups of individuals and has tested its Office products with many screen readers such as Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA.

Furthermore, Office products have integrated accessibility features (features that many PDF programs lack), which make the program compatible with accessibility programs. In the current market, it is rare to see a PDF tool equipped with screen readers. For people who need reading or editing assistants for their documents and information, Microsoft Office file formats offer more benefits.                                                                  

Roche

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Columnist

Roche has been an active PDF user for 6 years and tried different types of professional PDF tools (both online and desktop version) since at his bachelor degree. Now, Roche works as a columnist for SwifDoo PDF over the course of the last one year, and provides useful and practical solutions pertaining to various PDF topics for users from different features.

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