The File Format Showdown: PDF vs JPG

The File Format Showdown: PDF vs JPG

When it comes to answering the age-old question of PDF vs JPG, there are many things to take into account – including the pros and cons of each file type!

A PDF file is a document developed by Adobe, whereas a JPG is an image that is only really of good quality when you don’t try to make it too big – a bitmapped image.

PDF files are not originally compressed, but JPG images are. This explains why JPG images are not totally clear but they do take up a lot less space on your disc.

PDF files and JPG images are also useful to use together because they work across any operating system, Windows, Mac and Linux.

Even though both PDF files and JPG images are used by almost everyone as a lot of documents online are PDF files and almost all images on the Web are JPG images, it can be hard to choose one over the other.

Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of PDF and JPG files, designed to help you decide which file format is right for you.

PDF vs JPG: Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons of JPG Files


There are quite a few pros when it comes to working with JPG file types. One of the main benefits that people always seem to be raving about is that JPG files are suitable for high quality pictures with high details.

Since 1994 JPG images have been used as the standard format in the photography industry, and supports 24bit color.

JPG images also use lossy compression. Lossy compression refers to compression that is irreversible and means that quality was lost from the original version. This reduces the file size of the image and saves space on your disc.


JPG files unfortunately do not support transparency. This means that a JPG image cannot have a watermark or a logo on it.

Sadly also, JPG files can also create a larger file size even if the images are smaller.

JPG files also do not support animation.

Each time your save a JPG image information is lost, so it is only really suitable to be saved once.

The Pros and Cons of PDF Files


One of the most well-known pros of PDF files is that PDF files protect your property by stopping any viewers of your files copying and pasting your content elsewhere. This way no one will be in any doubt as to who owns the content of your PDF file.

PDF files are also really good for printing. With PDF files whatever you see on-screen is what will be printed, there is no editing to the format necessary!

PDF files are also a handy conversion from other file formats to reduce the file size and take up less storage space. Depending on your file and your situation, PDF conversions might be the best option for you.


On the flip side of our above point, creating content for print with PDF documents can be challenging if the on-screen document does not match up to an A4 page.

Working as both a negative and a positive, the non-editable nature of the PDF files can make life hard if you’re looking for your coworker to give you a report or some feedback on its content.

From a marketing point-of-view, PDF files are not ideal because they don’t rank very well on Google searches because it is hard to pull out a single keyword from a body of text in a PDF document.

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