Pearl Scan

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Text Formats Explained

text formats explained

Text Formats Explained

Here at Pearl Scan we offer a lot of choice when it comes to document formats, as we understand that different companies and individuals have different needs. But we also know that too much choice can get confusing! All formats have their advantages and can be used for a number of purposes, but some will be more appropriate than others for a particular project.

In case you’re unsure of which format to choose once your documents or book has been scanned, we’ve put together this blog to help you make the right decision. Perhaps you haven’t heard of some the formats before or always lean to Microsoft Word when in fact another choice would be more suitable. Read on for some jargon-free advice from our scanning experts.


PDF stands for Portable Document Format, invented by Adobe. This software is now free, so sending PDFs is easy and you know that the receiver will be able to open the document, regardless of the device they are using. PDFs can include text, images, graphics and hyperlinks, so they are especially useful as a format for online brochures or media packs.


A CSV (Comma Separated Value) file is good for recording data in tables. It’s basically a spreadsheet, supported by applications such as Google Spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel. This type of file format is useful for importing and exporting data.


A HTML file can only be read by web browsers. Therefore, if you want to create a document to be accessed 24/7, with or without an internet connection, this option probably isn’t suitable.


XML is similar to HTML, as the document is only readable online. Files are coded to be machine-readable and human-readable, and can be shared on the web or on intranets. If you need a spreadsheet of data to be available on an intranet, such as contact details, this is a good choice of file format.

Microsoft Word and Excel

Any document can be scanned and then imported directly to Microsoft Word or Excel. If your business uses the programs often, this is probably the best choice for you. You can edit the documents as well as search them for particular text or numbers.

OCR Recognition

Don’t forget that all our scanned documents are fully OCR searchable, regardless of the format you choose. This means that you’ll be able to manually search through the document for any key words or dates you’re looking for. Additionally, you can use our software to type in names or dates and all documents relating to it will be identified. Goodbye, filing cabinets!

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