Most Common Document Conversion Formats – An Overview

by | Published on Feb 19, 2016 | Document Conversion / Scanning Services

Document Conversion FormatsWith the increasing use of the Internet for business transactions and communication, digitization via document scanning and conversion has become a huge trend in both private and public business sectors. The digitization drive is largely fuelled by the desire to dispose of large volume hard-copy documentation that consumes too much of office space, and to boost business performance. The Internet no doubt, allows you to carry out your tasks with tremendous speed and efficiency, increasing work productivity manifold in the process. To maximize the potential of the Internet without investing too much capital in document scanning equipment and scanning professionals, many organizations prefer to outsource their digitization requirements to a professional data entry company offering document conversion services.

Documents sometimes need to be converted into another format before they can be opened. Sometimes, you may want to convert the document before it is sent to the receiver. Businesses benefit from converting their paper documents into electronic records – they will have their business data at their fingertips; digitization offers fully searchable digital archives and drives new efficiencies.

Here are some file formats popularly used by businesses.


PDFDeveloped by Adobe, PDF is a very popular format that is used when you need an electronic hard copy of any document. Many businesses publish their reports or documents in PDF format as this format is highly reliable and flexible. It has a fixed layout and is protected from editing and modification unless another program that allows modification of PDF files is used to do so. It can contain graphs, tables, images 3D drawings and even scanned pages. PDFs can be protected with password or encrypted, and is considered the most suitable file format for sending and sharing documents. This format is perfect for printing because they retain the original formatting of the file. Whatever program, device or software is used to open a PDF, it always looks the same with a fixed layout. Apart from the freely available Adobe Reader, many other programs are there to open PDF files. Most web browsers can open these files. Apps are available for mobile devices.


TXTThis is a popular, highly compatible document type that can store only text and does not contain any formatting, images or other objects. This format is perfect for storage of data and easy sharing of documents across various platforms. TXT format can be opened in programs like Microsoft Word, Pages for Mac and many more.


ODTOpen Document Text (ODT) is a common document file that has many editing options and can contain graphs, tables and images. It is used for writing essays, contracts reports and so on. These files can be edited by both the author as well as the receiver. These are similar to DOC and DOCX files and are distributed under the open standard license. Microsoft Word supports this format.


RTFRich Text Format (RTF) was developed by Microsoft and is a highly compatible format. It can be created using word processing programs like MS Notepad or OpenOffice Writer. It can accommodate only text and no images, videos or other files. This format is best suitable for texts that do not need images but only formatted text as for e.g. letters, invoices and contracts. RTF files can be edited and shared easily.


HTMLThese are associated with web addresses but documents can also be saved in this format. Word processing programs can save formatted text containing images, audio and other objects in the HTM or HTML format. These files can be opened using any web browser and can be handled just like a website that has media and outgoing links.


PPTThese files are file extensions of Microsoft Power Point that include not just text and graphs but also contain slide transition, animation, embedded video files and many more. These formats are primarily used for presentations by business groups or for conducting seminars.


DOCThese are very popular document file formats from Microsoft Word and can be used for writing letters, expressing thoughts, presenting findings, and also providing information. DOC/DOCX formats can contain text, tables and images and are a preferred file format for various purposes that need a flexible way of formatting a document. They can be edited by the author as well as the receiver.


When document conversion is required on a regular basis and huge volumes of paper documents need to be converted, a reliable and professional document conversion company can help. Outsourcing to an external service provider is cost-effective, and you are ensured maximum accuracy for the converted data.

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