Is eBook And PDF The Same? (Know Everything)

Many people wonder if “eBook and PDFs are the same?” Apparently, both are just digital forms of physical books and files. However, I am here to help you know many similarities and differences between the both.

eBook and PDF are not the same & both differentiate from each other based on their various features & uses. eBooks are digital books that one can read on electronic devices, while PDFs are a just type of file format commonly used for documents, including eBooks.

In the following article, I will explain some of the differences between eBooks and PDFs. After reading this article, you can easily understand the key differences between both.

Is eBook and PDFs the same?

Is eBook and PDFs the same

Many people like to use digital platforms for reading and studying different subjects. I am also addicted to using my laptop for reading any book or article. I have never dived deep to explore the key differences between different formats of files and books.

If you are also wondering like me, I have much to help you know regarding this question. I did a little research and also managed a call with my friend – an e-library manager. He has just explained everything to me about the differences and similarities between both.

First of all, eBooks and PDFs are entirely different things based on their uses, features & benefits. Remember, the only obvious similarity between both is that they are a digital form of physical paper material.


As you can notice, PDF is more than just a digital form of a file. Indeed, it is a file format that was created by Adobe Systems to present and exchange documents independent of software, hardware, or operating systems.


On the other hand, an eBook is more than just a digital form of a book. It is a digital publication that can include text, images, and multimedia elements.

Ebooks And PDF Difference and Similarity Table

Alright. Here you can check the main similarities and differences between eBooks and PDFs.





A digital version of a book

A file format for presenting documents


Can adjust the layout to fit devices

Fixed layout


Require specific software or device

Can be viewed on any device


Can include multimedia elements

Can include multimedia elements


Can include interactive features

Limited interactivity


May allow for editing and annotation

May allow for editing and annotation


May not be compatible with all devices

Compatible with most devices


Easy to carry and store

Easy to carry and store

Look! I have simply defined the objective difference between both. There is still further classification between both.

Let’s see how eBooks and PDFs classify into more of their types.

Types of eBooks and PDFs

There are many file formats of eBooks and PDFs so that you can open them easily. The purpose of the different formats of these files is to match the type of software you use to open a specific file of eBook or PDF.

Here, I will explain different types of eBooks PDF formats one by one.

Some of the main types of eBooks are as follows:

  • Reflowable eBooks: These eBooks can adjust their layout according to the screen of different devices.
  • Fixed-layout eBooks: This format has a fixed layout for highly illustrated books. For instance: children’s books, cookbooks, and graphic novels.
  • Interactive eBooks: These eBooks incorporate multimedia for a more engaging and immersive reading experience.
  • Enhanced eBooks: This eBook format includes additional features like annotations, highlighting, and social sharing.
  • Multimedia eBooks: These formats are primarily focused on multimedia content such as video, audio, and images.

Types of PDF

Some of the main types of PDF are as follows, depending on their feature:

  • Standard PDF: This is the most common type of PDF, which is designed for sharing and printing documents.
  • PDF/A: This type of PDF is designed for long-term archiving to preserve the layout and format for many years.
  • PDF/X: This is useful for graphic arts and printing industries. Its features ensure accurate color representation and printing specifications.
  • PDF/E: This PDF is designed for the engineering and technology industries. Its features enable a user for 3D models and other technical information.

What are the formats of eBooks and PDFs?

Is eBook and PDFs the same

The format of eBooks and PDFs encompass various types of formats. These formats mainly depend on the type of device and software to store these files.

For example, the main formats of an eBook include EPUB, MOBI, PDF, AZW, and TXT.

Similarly, the formats of PDFs depend on the features and capabilities you want from a file. You can enjoy several formats of PDF that vary from each other.

For example, I have seen PDF 1.4, PDF/A, PDF/X, PDF/UA, and PDF 2.0 most commonly used formats of PDF in my e-library.

Which is better: PDF or eBook?

As I have discussed above, the usage of eBooks or PDFs can be helpful for you to decide which is a better option. Indeed, it simply depends on the need and usage you want to experience with this digital content.

For example, I consider PDFs better for their good compatibility with my devices. On the other hand, an eBook is better for readability because it is adjustable to any device.

Related: How Do I Download An eBook From A Website? [Comprehensive Guide]


In short, eBooks and PDFs are not the same due to many reasons. From features to uses, I have experienced a lot of differences between both. Though both of them also carry some similarities, that does not mean they belong to the same genre. From portability to editing, it depends on your personal choice and relative usage.

You can choose the one that suits your device and file format. Never get confused in different types of eBooks and PDFs since they are merely the next versions of the former formats.

Remember, eBook is the best option for you if love reading long-form books. On the other hand, PDF is a useful format to access or share files with friends.

Hassan Shahzad

I am Hassan! (Book Lover) at Books Rookie; we (like-minded book readers) share our knowledge of books/digital books with our readers.

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