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“True PDF” vs “Scanned PDF”: What is the difference?

“True PDF” vs “Scanned PDF”: What is the difference?

Phân biệt “True PDF” và “Scanner PDF”

PDF is a file format designed to present documents consistently across different devices and platforms. PDF files allow us to edit or copy its content perfectly or do not allow us to do anything. Let’s learn how to classify pdf files for easier use.

PDF documents can be classified into two different types, depending on the way the file originated: “True PDF” and “Scanned PDF”.

“True PDF” or digitally created PDF file

“True PDF” are PDF files created with software such as Word, Excel, Indesign, etc or via the “print” function with a virtual printer. These files are based on vector data structures, so the display quality after converted to PDF is not affected even if you zoom in and out.

Tệp “True PDF” được tạo từ Word bằng chức năng “Save as”
“True PDF” file created from Word using “Save as” function
Tệp “True PDF” được tạo bằng máy in ảo trên Word
“True PDF” file created with a virtual printer in Word

On “True PDF” files you can easily edit or copy the content, including text and images perfectly. However, whether editing on the PDF file is possible or not depends on the software you use to open the PDF file. Some software only allows to display the content on the PDF file and does not allow you to edit.

Tệp “True PDF” được chỉnh sửa trực tiếp trên đó bằng phần mềm Foxit Phamtom
The “True PDF” file is edited directly with Foxit Phantom software

“Scanned PDF” or PDF files created with images

“Scanned PDF” are PDF files created by taking pictures, using specialized scanners or office scanners. The display quality of “Scanned PDF” files depends on the scanner type and scanning options.

“Scanned PDF” documents contain only scanned/photographed images of the pages without an underlying text layer. This PDF format only allows you to copy the entire page as an image and does not allow to edit.

Tệp Scanner PDF chỉ có thể copy nội dung dưới dạng hình ảnh
Scanned PDF file only allows copy content as images

To be able to edit or copy “Scanned PDF” files you can use PDF to word converter software integrated with OCR (optical character recognition) technology to make it easier to read the text.


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