Doc or Pdf, Jpg or Png? How to decide the most suitable format

Choosing which type to save and send a document or an image is very simple and depends on the use we want to make of it. Here's what to evaluate

We handle dozens of files every day. A program, a word document, an image. Each of them is composed of a name, a dot and a sort of short abbreviation. This last one is called extension and it serves to identify the type of file downloaded and saved on the pc.

Don't you understand what we are talking about? Let's take an example. Find a document - a Word file will do - and take a look at its name. You'll notice that the file is accompanied by the following extension: .doc. This is a format that Microsoft owns and is used to "classify" all files that contain text. Having clarified this point, let's move on. Not all files have a unique format. Let's consider images. You'll probably have to deal with JPG or PNG. Depending on the type you choose, the photo will have different characteristics.

Every file has a certain format. But which one should we choose? It depends on how we will use the file. Is it better to save and send a document in doc or PDF format?

Doc and PDF

Most people use doc or docx format (an extension used by the latest versions of Microsoft Word) and PDF format to save and send documents. The former has the advantage of allowing the recipient of the file to make changes. Unfortunately, however, this type of format doesn't give users the possibility to open the attachment directly from the browser. And if you don't use Office online, the only way to read the document is to download it to your computer. Moreover, people are forced to install Microsoft Word or a compatible program.

The PDF format, which stands for Portable Document Format, as you can also guess from its name in English, is designed to allow anyone to read a file. In addition, the document received by email does not need to be downloaded to your computer, as it can be read directly from any browser.

Which one should you use? It depends. Do you want to make sure that the file is readable by everyone and retains the original formatting? Save it as a PDF. On the other hand, if you want the recipient of the document to make changes, it's better to use the doc format.


Another doubt revolves around the image format. The most common and used one is JPEG, since, due to its characteristics, it allows saving, sending and sharing photos with ease. The .jpg extension, in fact, compresses the file (and therefore also its size) without affecting its initial quality much. The format, however, is not so perfect. Take an image saved in JPEG (for your information, its full name is Joint Photographic Experts Group) and enlarge it. You will notice that shadows appear at the edges. The reason for this is the compression system used by the format. Also, as the file is saved more times, the image loses quality.

The PNG format, which stands for Portable Network Graphics, compared to the previous format, allows the photo to maintain its initial resolution, no matter how many times it is saved. Also, on a PNG image there is no trace of the annoying shadow effect. And that's not all. The format, in fact, supports transparency, which lets you use the image easily on another background. The only disadvantage is that, unlike JPEG format, a photo saved in PNG is heavier.

Which one to use between the two formats? Again, it depends on the use. A PNG image guarantees, due to the use of a lossless compression method, higher quality. In addition, it is more suitable if you need to edit and save the file several times. The JPEG format, on the other hand, besides offering an acceptable resolution, is mainly lighter.