Of course we love the PDF document format and how could we not. It’s versatile and editable, widely supported and easy to handle. And yet, there might be reasons why you want to use another format similar to PDF that is not tied to Adobe.
Whatever your reason may be – compatibility, support, proprietorship – we have looked around to present you some alternatives to the PDF document format. If you are looking for an alternative to PDF readers and viewers, check out our list of Adobe PDF Reader Alternatives.
Depending on what you want from a PDF, the following alternative formats offer a just as good or even better solution for you. Lets have a look at these alternatives and in which way they might replace the PDF format for you.
While e-book readers also support the PDF format, there is a reason why there are file formats particularly designed for e-readers. Pdf files have a fixed formatting. Thus, when changing the font or page size in your e-reader, it may happen that you have to scroll your page to be able to read everything since it often happens that the whole page is zoomed in on instead of increasing the font size.
E-book files are different. Changing the file size will have no effect on the page size itself. Thus, you can read and flip pages naturally, just like when reading a real book.
E-book formats include:
- AZW, AZW3 (Amazon Kindle format)
Images have several advantages over PDF. They are supported by mobile devices easily and can be shared on social media. They can be viewed online without having to install a plugin or program.
Furthermore, depending on the nature of your PDF file, it’s easy to select and thus copy text from the document. On image files, you can not grab and copy the texts as easily. You would have to use an OCR converter to get the text.
The most common and widely supported (raster) image formats include:
- TIF, TIFF
TIP: You can easily convert your PDF to one of the formats mentioned above and even more image formats on PDF2Go.
Editable Document Formats
PDF documents can not or hardly be edited anymore – at least not without some hassle or a handy online editor. This makes editing typos and spelling mistakes just as hard as adding text or changing the text inside the PDF document.
The alternative here is, naturally, an editable text document that allows you to apply changes to all the text, tables and even the images inside the document.
Some of the most common document formats are:
- DOC, DOCX, DOT, DOTX (Microsoft Word)
- HWP (Hancom Hanword)
- ODT (Open Document)
- PAGES (Apple Mac Pages)
- RTF (rich text)
- SXW (StarOffice)
- TXT (plain text)
- WPD (Corel WordPerfect)
- WPS (Microsoft Works)
On PDF2Go you can convert your PDF to document, at least to some of the most common ones like Microsoft Word, TXT, and ODT.
Page Layout Files
Page layout files come quite close to PDF documents when it comes to their specification. Even more so: PDF documents are often referred to as page layout files as well. They can contain text, images, and graphs and are optimized for printing and publishing.
However, most page layout files can only be opened in the specific program that was used to create them.
Common page layout file formats include, among others:
- INDD (Adobe InDesign)
- PCT (Apple Mac QuickDraw)
- PUB (Microsoft Publisher)
- QXP (QuarkXPress)
Other Fixed-Layout Document Files
Naturally, Adobe weren’t the only ones to developed a fixed layout document format – however, they managed to make PDF the most common and best-known ones. Microsoft also attempted to develop a format that is strikingly similar to PDF though:
- XPS &
Especially on Windows computers, XPS or OpenXPS is the go-to format for document printers that came with the operating system.
Due to these files being very similar to PDF, you can easily convert XPS to PDF.