By Naaziyah IsmailTue. 09 Apr. 20243min Read

PDF vs PNG: What's the Difference?

In this blog post, we'll delve into the intricacies of PDF vs. PNG format, exploring their differences and applications.
PDF vs PNG: What's the Difference?

Many common file formats are available for storing and sharing images, each with its unique set of features and use cases.

Two popular formats often in the spotlight are PDF (Portable Document Format) and PNG (Portable Network Graphics).

Megon Venter
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Megon is a B2B SaaS Content Writer with 7 years of experience in content strategy and execution. Her expertise lies in the creation of document management tutorials and product comparisons.

PDF vs. PNG: Comparison Table


PDF (Portable Document Format)

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

Primary Use

Designed to display documents independently of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Primarily used for raster images on the web, supporting lossless data compression.

File Type

A multi-page document file format containing text, images, and other media. An image file format that supports transparent backgrounds and lossless compression for raster images.


Does not support transparency in the way images do. Supports transparency, allowing for the creation of images with transparent backgrounds.


Supports both lossy and lossless compression depending on the content type. Uses lossless compression, preserving image quality while reducing file size.


Can contain interactive elements like hyperlinks, form fields, and multimedia. Lacks interactivity; it's a static image format with no support for hyperlinks or multimedia.


Generally requires specialized software (like PDF Reader Pro) for editing. Can be edited with a wide range of graphic editing software.


Supports multi-page documents, allowing for extensive information in a single file. Limited to a single page/image per file.

File Size

It can vary greatly and is highly dependent on content. Optimized PDFs can be relatively small. Typically larger than compressed PDFs but can vary based on the image's complexity and the compression level.

Usage Context

Ideal for documents intended for printing or distribution, preserving layout and formatting. Best suited for web graphics, especially when transparency or lossless quality is needed.

In some cases, we need to convert PNGs to PDFs for better editing.

How to Convert PNG to PDF on Windows

Step 1: Open PDF Reader Pro

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 2: Click "Create PDF"

Select "From Image," then select and open the image you want to convert to a PDF.

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 3: Save as a PDF

Within the pop-up window, select more PNG files or convert a single image by clicking "Save PDF".

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro 

"I have always struggled to find a properly functioning free PDF Reading tool. I started with the PDF Reader Pro Free version, but I was so impressed with all its functions that I subscribed to the paid version, which is basically free."
Johan Müller
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn

How to Convert PNG to PDF on Mac

Step 1: Open PDF Reader Pro

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 2: Click "Create PDF" from Home

Select "From Image" and select the image you want to convert to a PDF.

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

Step 3: Save as a PDF

Select one or more files from within the window. Once happy, click "Save PDF" to convert your JPG to a PDF.

Image Source: PDF Reader Pro

I rely on PDF Reader Pro extensively for all my PDF editing and conversion needs. Its comprehensive suite of editing tools allows me to modify text, resize images, and reorganize pages with precision and ease.

For conversions, PDF Reader Pro easily transforms my PDFs into various formats, such as Word or Excel, preserving the layout and formatting impeccably.

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This versatility ensures that whether I'm preparing documents for presentations, reports, or archiving, PDF Reader Pro meets all my requirements, helping my workflow and enhancing productivity.

"PDF Reader Pro is an amazing tool for individuals and for business. It's annotation and editing help me with my daily tasks and allows for collaboration amongst my team and I."
Naaziyah Ismail
B2B SaaS Content Writer
Source: LinkedIn


Is PDF or PNG better for printing?

PDF is typically better for printing documents as it preserves the layout, fonts, and images accurately across various devices and printers. PNG is suitable for printing images or graphics, especially when transparency is needed.

Can PDFs contain PNG images?

Absolutely. PDFs can contain PNG images along with other types of content, combining the clarity and transparency of PNGs with the document structure of PDFs.

Which format is better for web use?

PNG is often preferred for web use, especially for logos, icons, and images with transparent backgrounds, due to its support for lossless compression and transparency. PDFs are used on the web to distribute documents that need to be viewed or printed in a specific layout.

Are PDFs or PNGs more secure?

PDFs can offer more security features, such as password protection, encryption, and redaction options. PNGs, being primarily an image format, do not inherently contain security features.

Can I use both PDF and PNG formats for a single project?

Yes, it’s common to use both formats in a single project, utilizing each for its strengths—PDFs for comprehensive documents and reports, and PNGs for high-quality images and graphics within those documents or separately on the web.

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