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Difference between Hard Copy and Soft Copy

  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 30 Jun, 2020

1. Hard Copy :
Hard copy refers to the digital document file which is printed on paper or other material like transparency. In hard copy the output is printed on the paper and sometimes it is referred as permanent copy. We can touch the hard copy. We can say it is a physical copy.
For example- News Paper, Book, Note book, printed document files etc.

2. Soft Copy :
Soft copy refers to the digital document file or electronic version of a document which is not printed on paper. In soft copy the output is present in the USB drives and computers etc and sometimes it is referred as temporary copy. We can not touch the soft copy. We can say it is a virtual copy.
For example- ENews paper, Ebook, pdf notes, scanned notes etc.

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Differences between Hard Copy and Soft Copy :

Serial No.Hard CopySoft Copy
1.Hard copy is a printed document file.Soft copy is a non printed document file.
2.It is a physical copy.It is a virtual copy.
3.It is treated as permanent copy.It is treated as temporary copy.
4.Hard copy does not require an electronic interface like computers or mobiles etc to read and display.Soft copy requires an electronic interface like computers or mobiles etc to read and display.
5.Hard copies are not easily portable like soft copy.Soft copies are easily portable than hard ccopy.
6.Hard copies occupies real physical space.Soft copies does not occupy real physical space.
7.Hard copies can be shared directly in hand to hand or through post etc.Soft copies can be shared through any digital sharing medium like Email, Whatsaap etc.
8.Hard copies are relatively expensive to generate/produce as compared to soft copies.Soft copies are not expensive like hard copies to generate/produce.
9.These copies are mainly preferred in official works.These copies are mainly preferred for private purposes.
10.Hard copies can not be converted into soft copies.Soft copies can be converted into hard copies.
11.It has physical weight. Hard copies need physical space for storage.It has no physical weight. Soft copies need computer memory space for storage.
12.Hard copies are not editable.Soft copies are editable.
13.It is often subjected to wear and tear.It is never subjected to wear and tear.
14.There is no chance of cyber attack data stealing.There is huge chance of cyber attack data stealing.
15.Hard copies example includes books, official letters, notes, news papers, magazines etc.Soft copies example includes ebooks, pdf files, word documents, presentation files, scanned copy etc.

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