We are all aware that the files we generate and keep in our computers come in a variety of formats or extensions. These extensions refer to the many programs that can read and open the files in question.

There are a variety of file kinds, some of which are specific to the file type at hand. A.doc or.docx file is a Microsoft Word document, whilst a.ppt file is a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. When we double-click on a file to open it, these extensions allow the relevant application to launch.

In this article, we will distinguish between two of these formats: PDF and JPG.

What exactly are PDF and JPG formats?


Are you someone who uses a computer or laptop regularly? Or maybe an active user of the internet? In case you are, you might have heard the term ‘PDF’ being used multiple times. Do you know what PDFs are exactly?

Files in the Portable Document Format (PDF) are one of the most widely used file formats today. The PDF format is used when you need to keep files that can’t be altered but still need to be shared and printed. When you see a file with the extension .pdf, you know it’s a PDF.

Everyone seems to have a version of Adobe Reader or another tool that can display PDF files on their computer these days.


JPG or JPEG files are pronounced as “jay-peg”. In the simplest possible terms, they are image files. While some JPG picture files have the .JPG extension and others have the .JPEG extension, they are both in the same file format.

JPG files are popular because the compression process greatly reduces file size. This, in turn, makes them excellent for sharing, saving, and displaying on websites. However, JPG compression often lowers image quality, which might be visible if the image is heavily compressed.

When do we use which?

PDFs are used mostly when you need to store files that can’t be changed but still need to be shared and printed simply. But that is not all. These types of documents can be used whenever you need to share portfolios. PDFs are easy to merge, and split, without causing any harm to the layout as well as the subject of the content.

In addition to these, you can save the format and style of your document by saving it as a PDF. This helps us to view the document in the same format on all types of devices.

Also, just like images, PDFs can be locked with a password. So, in case you need to share an important or confidential document, PDF is the way to go!

JPG is a regularly used image compression file format that is used for digital snaps. It is the most common image format. It can be used in digital cameras, operating systems, as well as online. As a result, file sizes are reduced, making sharing and storing photographs easier. The level of compression in a JPG file is alterable.

This means that image data can be preserved at a variety of compression levels depending on the user’s preferences. Photos and paintings profit a lot from JPG pictures.

History of PDF and JPG

Adobe Systems created the Portable Document Format (PDF) in the early 1990s, introducing it at the Windows and OS 2 Conference in January 1993. It remained a proprietary format until 2008 when it was released as an open standard. Since then, it has been under the jurisdiction of the International Organization for Standardization Committee, which is made up of volunteers from the industry.

The Joint Photographic Experts Group established the JPG (commonly known as JPEG) and named it after them. It immediately gained popularity due to its adaptability. As a result of a procedure that began in 1986, the JPEG 1 standard (ISO/IEC 10918) was produced in 1992 (latest version, 1994). Though this standard is commonly referred to as a single specification, it is made up of four components and a mix of coding modes.

What are the differences between PDF and JPG?

The PDF is more like a universal format, irrespective of hardware, OS, application, or software. The whole flat document description with a fixed layout is included within the normal PDF file. The contents of the file are displayed in the text, the images, fonts, and any information necessary. In desktops and smartphones, Adobe Reader is the most frequent application for opening PDF files. PDF files are quite helpful; they are a replacement for many various data kinds; slides such as PowerPoint, pictures as JPEG, etc. can be used for papers stored in Microsoft Word.

JPEG or JPG is a highly prevalent method, on the other hand, and truly compresses digital photos in a so-called lossy compression. JPEG file extensions are.jpg or.jpeg. It is utilized for the compression of digital photography photos. There are varying degrees of compression. The two main compression options that need to be addressed are the file size and the quality of the image. JPEG compression is good because it achieves a compression ratio of 10 to 1. The quality of JPEG compression scarcely loses.

A JPEG file is a graphic image file, while a PDF file is a document file. The main distinction between the two formats is this. Although both can be converted to the other, they are often employed for different purposes. Note that a JPEG image of a document will be smaller than the same document as a PDF file for the same file that is made available in both formats. This is since JPEG is a compression algorithm.

Moving on, a PDF file keeps a document’s original layout while also allowing distinct parts of the content to be edited. JPEGs, on the other hand, combine various elements of an image or document into a single file that cannot be separated into its constituent parts.

Another distinction is in the area of text copying. A PDF file allows you to copy selected text, whereas a JPEG file does not allow you to copy selected text but the entire image can be copied as-is.

The two formats can be converted into each other, as previously stated. A JPEG to PDF conversion preserves the image’s layout, whereas a JPEG to PDF conversion produces a compressed image of the document.

To summarise:

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format for presenting many sorts of documents in a legible or viewable format. JPG, a widely used compression technology, compresses digital images using lossy compression.

A JPG file is a graphic image file, while a PDF file is a document file.

Since JPG is a compression method, a JPG image of a specific document will be smaller than the same document as a PDF file for the same file that is made available in both forms.

A PDF file keeps a document’s original layout while still allowing distinct parts of the document to be edited; JPEGs, on the other hand, compress many components of an image or document into a single file that cannot be split into its original components.

You can copy selected text from a PDF file; however, you can’t copy selected text from a JPEG file.

Which one is better- PDF or JPG?

The controversy of PDF vs JPG has been going on for a long time now. You may wonder which is a better format. But we are here to tell you that there is no correct or incorrect answer. All you can do is make an educated choice that will cater to your needs better.

So, whether PDF is better or JPG is completely dependent on your particular requirement. If the task you need to do requires you to use a document, we would suggest you use a PDF. If your task needs you to use an image, go for JPG. That is all.


With this article, we hope that you have developed a fairly good idea of PDFs and JPGs. With the help of the differences between these two formats, that we have stated here, you would be able to make the right choice for yourselves.

Like we said, whether PDF is better or JPG depends completely on your specific requirement. So, make sure that you analyze what your exact requirement is, and henceforth, choose the format that would suit you better.