Metadata title: Difference Between Hard Copy and Soft Copy
Description: This article discusses the meaning of soft copy as well as a hard copy of a document, and their differences, advantages, and disadvantages.
What’s the difference between Hardcopy and Softcopy?
The human species has adopted hard copy as a tactile method of collecting and exchanging data. The soft copy was introduced with the development of digital technology and revolutionized the source of obtaining and disseminating information. Virtually all information these days is saved in soft copy format.
Hard Copy vs Soft Copy
To chronicle an event, story, or study, both hard copy, and soft copy are employed. They both have advantages and disadvantages, and each is vital in its own way. But how do they differ? Let’s take a look at each type of copy before comparing them.
What is Hard Copy?
What is a hard copy? Well, it is a printed version of a digital information file from a computer that is printed on paper or any other visible medium. They even call it a “durable copy” or “physical document.”
It can be an anything-a picture, a written document, a sketch, or any other printed file. They exist as real things that we can hold. Hence, the term “hard copy.” Books, printed files, magazines, exercise books, and other such items are examples of hard copies.
Hard copies are still vital in the digital era for a variety of reasons. When you mistakenly eliminate your electronic files, the physical or hard copy may serve as a backup. Also, some find taking notes and sharing hard copies quite convenient.
What is a Soft copy?
Now that you know What is a hard copy? It’s time to discuss “soft copy.” Think of it as an electronic document file that is preserved on a desktop or hard disc. It is a digital version of a text or piece of information that has not been written on paper.
Depending on the document type, you may open and modify a soft copy with a variety of applications, such as MS Word, Google Docs, MS PowerPoint, and more. A soft copy can be stored on computers, USB sticks, memory cards, and other electronic devices. You cannot physically touch a soft copy as it is stored digitally. Therefore, it is often referred to as a virtual version of a text file or information.
A soft copy can easily be shared via emails, text messages, and social media platforms. This makes them a quick and efficient means of storing and sharing valuable information. In the long term, soft copies are less fragile and more resilient than hard copies. When a user generates several copies and stores them on appropriate hardware, a soft copy becomes impervious to destruction.
Hard copy vs Soft copy: Head to Head Comparison
You know now what a hard copy and a soft copy are. Next, let’s talk about hardcopy versus softcopy. There are several key differences that are discussed below.
|Parameters||Hard Copy||Soft Copy|
|Nature||Available in physical form and can be touched.||Available in virtual form and can be viewed on a desktop or any electronic gadget. You can’t touch it.|
|Storage||A hard copy is stored by handwritten notes or printed on a sheet.||A soft copy is stored virtually in a computer drive or a USB device.|
|Electricity||Can be used without electricity||Needs electricity to use|
|Portability||Can be carried physically but not in large quantities||Can be carried easily in large quantities via USB drives or SD cards|
|Sharing||A photocopy is the best way for sharing information.||Can be shared via emails, external drives, or the cloud.|
|Interface||Does not require any interface to view or read any information.||Requires an interface like a desktop, tablet or phone to view or read.|
|Costing||Printing and publishing hard copies can be expensive.||Comparatively, it is cost-effective as no printing is required.|
|Conversion||Scanning is a mode of converting a hard copy to a soft copy.||Can be converted into a hard copy via printing.|
|Examples||Advertisement papers, magazines, newspapers, posters, etc.||PDF files, Word documents, XLS files, etc|
By now, you may have a clear understanding of Hardcopy vs. Softcopy. Both hard copies and soft copies have their advantages and disadvantages. They play a vital role in communicating data, information, and stories. It would be impossible to communicate and share information without them.
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