Difference Between Hard Copy and Soft Copy

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : April 18th, 2022

Difference Between Hard Copy and Soft Copy: Hard copies and soft copies are used to collect and exchange data. These are in the form of digital documents. The output information is saved in these. The main difference between a hard copy and a soft copy is that a hard copy can be touched with bare hands whereas soft copies are not available to be touched. 

Here, we will first briefly explore soft copy and hard copy and then we will see the complete list explaining the difference between hard copy and soft copy. We have elaborated the differences on various parameters such as nature, information storage, etc.

Table of Content

What is a Hard Copy?

A hard copy is a digital document. It is used to print the output. The hard copy is known as the permanent copy. They can be physically touched after printing. They are known as a physical copy. These can be anything such as a photograph, printed cards, etc which we see or use in our daily lives. Hard copies are shared via a physical mode of transfer and can not be shared online. 

Examples of hard copy: computer printouts, printed documents, continuous printed tapes, newspapers, books, teleprinter pages, notebooks, radio photo prints, etc. 

What is a Soft Copy?

A soft copy is also a digital document. It is used to save information inside a computer or drive. The soft copies are used to save the output in memory storage devices, hard discs, USB drives, etc. The soft copies are known as temporary information saving devices. They can be shared via email, messaging applications, etc.

Examples of soft copies:  PDF files, Word documents, XLS files, Presentation files,  Scanned copies, etc.

What is the Difference Between Hard Copy and Soft Copy?

As we have seen a brief introduction about a hard copy and a soft copy. We will now explore the difference between hard copy and soft copy. The major differences between the two are explained in the table provided below:

Difference Between Hard Copy and Soft Copy
Hard CopySoft Copy
They are physically available and can be touched by handsNot physically available and can not be touched with hands.
They are transferred physically.They are transferred digitally.
They require printing costs.Does not require any printing cost.
They can be converted into soft copies by scanning devices.They can be converted into hard copies by printing devices.
Known as permanent copies.Known as temporary copies.
Any correction on the information saved in hard copy is not feasible.Corrections can be done easily.
Carries a physical weight.Occupies a digital space known as memory.

Comments

write a comment

FAQs

  • The major difference between a hard copy and a soft copy is that we can not touch soft copies, whereas hard copies are physically available to touch. Soft copies are saved in digital devices and occupy digital memory whereas hard copies have some physical weight.

  • A hard copy is physically available digital information. They are used to save the output permanently. They do not cover any digital memory. They can be touched by bare hands and are typically available to transfer or view.

    For example newspapers, books, print-outs, printed notes, currency notes, etc.

  • A soft copy is a piece of digitally available information saved on a device. They are used to save the output inside a device. They are transferred via digital methods and cover up some memory of the device.

    For example PDFs, digital documents, images inside a device, etc.

  • The difference between a hard copy and a soft copy is that in hard copies information is saved permanently and any modification can not be done whereas a soft copy saves information temporarily and any information can be changed or modified instantly.

  • No, soft copies can not be touched physically whereas a hard copy is available to touch physically. It is one of the major differences between hard copy and soft copy. Soft copies are only saved on digital devices and can not be touched like hard copies.

Follow us for latest updates