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PDF VS EPUB: Which Format Is Better?

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It is the age of digitized documents. Contracts, thesis papers, books, and others are now accessible on your phones or computers. Digitized documents have also become the preferred medium by many. They are very portable; you don't need to carry a heavy book because you can put that on your phone. You can save them as PDFs or EPUBs. Speaking of that, PDF vs. EPUB, which is better? In this article, we will look for answers.

pdf vs epub

What Is an EPUB and What Is a PDF?

It's important to know what each file type is before we compare them. So let's discuss that first. Here's the definition of PDF and the definition of EPUB.


the universal pdf file format icon

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a universal file type that lets you view electronic documents on any device, software, or OS. They can contain text, images, and other elements. These characteristics make PDF a great format for documents that need to be displayed consistently across different platforms.

Key Features:

  • Platform independence - PDFs can be viewed and printed on various devices and operating systems. It does not matter if you are using computers, tablets, or smartphones. The document's layout will not be altered.
  • Security - PDF has many security features. You can password-protect or encrypt PDFs. Additionally, you can add digital signatures to prove a document's authenticity.
  • Compact File Size - You can optimize PDFs for efficient storage and distribution while maintaining the document's quality and fidelity. In fact, many people convert large images to PDFs to send them through email.
  • Interactive elements - PDFs can include interactive elements like hyperlinks, bookmarks, form fields, and multimedia elements.
  • Readability and printability - PDFs are designed to accurately represent the fonts, graphics, and layout of a document, ensuring consistent readability and printability.


the universal epub file format icon

EPUB, on the other hand, stands for Electronic Publication. It is a file format typically used for books and publications. EPUB's best selling point is the text and images can adjust dynamically to fit the screen size and font preferences of the reader. Because of this, EPUB offers better accessibility and readability.

Key Features

  • Reflowable content - EPUB files automatically adjust their layout to fit the reading device's screen. It allows readers to customize font size, line spacing, and other reading preferences. It is a fantastic accessibility feature.
  • DRM support - EPUB files can include Digital Rights Management (DRM). This helps you protect copyright and control access to the content. It is one of the main reasons publishers favor this document type.
  • Textual and graphical elements - EPUB supports text, images, tables, and other visual elements to enhance the reading experience. Furthermore, EPUB allows publishers to include metadata, links, and interactive features.
  • Table of contents and navigation - Navigation in EPUB is so easy because of the table of contents, bookmarks, and hyperlinks.

Technology That Makes PDFs Similar to EPUBs

The thing is that some PDF viewers can close the gap between PDFs and EPUBs. They can give PDFs EPUBs' reflowable characteristics through a feature called "Liquid Mode." Liquid Mode uses AI to identify and separate different elements like headings, paragraphs, images, and tables. Based on this analysis, it dynamically reorganizes and reformats the content to fit the available screen space.

Don't worry. Liquid mode is not destructive. Any change you make while in this mode does not change anything on the PDF.

The Best PDF Reader App With Liquid Mode

Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor is one of the PDF editors that offer this feature. And do you know what is the best part? Wondershare PDFelement for Android is 100% free! It is also user-friendly, so there would be no hassle.

Here is a guide on how to use this feature:

  1. Install Wondershare PDFelement from Google Play.
wondershare pdfelement on google play store
  1. Launch the app.
main ui of wondershare pdfelement android
  1. Open the PDF that you want to read.
  2. Tap the Liquid Mode button. The PDF content is now reflowable.
wondershare pdfelement android liquid mode button
  1. Tap the Settings button on the top right if you wish to adjust the font size, the mode, or the direction.
adjusting pdfelement android liquid mode settings
  1. Also, you can tap the Pages button to jump to a specific page.
page jumping on wondershare pdfelement android

How Game-Changing Is Liquid Mode?

Liquid Mode has a big effect - bigger than how it first looks like. It does not only make PDFs better. Liquid Mode changes how we save and view documents.

PDF is the most acceptable electronic document format. Meanwhile, EPUB is more just for books and publications. Thus, people are more likely to have a PDF reader than an EPUB reader. But because EPUBs are reflowable, documents with lots of content are saved in this format.

Liquid Mode changes things. Because of this technology, you don't have to save those documents as EPUB. And people don't need to install an EPUB viewer. They can use the same apps they are using to read their work- or school-related documents. It frees storage space in your device and offers efficiency.

Some EPUB readers are also not free. Not having to buy those is also a plus since it helps save money.

The key accomplishments of Liquid Mode include:

  • Reflowable content - Liquid mode automatically adjusts the text and images in a PDF document, reflowing them to fit the screen size and orientation. This eliminates the need for horizontal scrolling or zooming in and out.
  • Image handling- Liquid mode intelligently handles images, resizing and repositioning them as necessary to fit the screen while maintaining their aspect ratio. It ensures that visual elements align with the surrounding text for better comprehension.
  • Accessibility improvements - Liquid mode enhances accessibility by providing support for screen readers and text-to-speech technologies. It can identify headings, paragraphs, and other structural elements. It makes it easier for individuals with visual impairments to navigate the content.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to the topic: PDF vs. EPUB.

1. What Is the Main Difference Between EPUBs and PDFs?

The main difference between EPUB and PDF is that EPUB is a reflowable format designed for flexible reading on various devices, while PDF is a fixed-layout format that preserves the original document's layout and appearance across different devices.

2. Is EPUB or PDF Better for Text-Heavy Documents?

EPUB used to be the better format for text-heavy documents because of its reflowable content. However, the Liquid Mode on PDF readers like Wondershare PDFelement makes the two formats equal.

3. Are EPUBs or PDFs Better for Interactive Content?

EPUBS are better because they support embedded multimedia elements, hyperlinks, and interactive features. PDFs can be capable of some interactivity, yes. But they have more limited capabilities for creating interactive experiences within the document.

4. Which Format Is More Suitable for Professional Documents or Forms?

PDF is generally more suitable for professional documents or forms. This format preserves the document's original layout, formatting, and design. Effectively, it ensures consistency and compatibility across different devices and platforms, making it ideal for professional and official use.

5. Are PDFs or EPUBs More Secure for Protecting Document Integrity?

PDFs offer more advanced security features like password protection, encryption, and digital signatures. These make PDFs more suitable for protecting document integrity and controlling access.

6. Can PDFs or EPUBs Be Easily Converted Into Other Formats?

PDFs are easier to convert. Some PDF editors even come with a converter you can use. On the other hand, converting EPUBs may require adjustments to ensure proper formatting in the new format.


EPUB used to be better than PDFs on mobile phones. Their dynamic content that automatically adjusts to fit smaller screens offers better readability. However, that is no longer true, thanks to Liquid Mode. Liquid Mode makes PDFs behave like EPUBs - the contents adjust to optimize for readability.

If you are looking for an app that has Liquid Mode, you should check out Wondershare PDFelement for Android. Anyone can try it because, unlike other PDFelement versions, the one for Android is completely free. Download it now from Google Play Store and see how amazing and helpful Liquid Mode is.

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