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Digitise vs. Digitize: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 14, 2023
"Digitise" and "digitize" are the same in meaning, referring to converting information into digital format, but differ in spelling by region: "digitise" is British English and "digitize" is American English.

Key Differences

"Digitise" and "digitize" both refer to the process of converting information, like text, images, or sounds, into a digital format that can be processed by computers. The difference lies primarily in regional spelling preferences, with "digitise" being favoured in British English and "digitize" in American English.
In both forms, the action involves transforming analog data into digital form. This can include scanning documents, recording sounds into digital audio formats, or converting photographic images into digital files. The spellings "digitise" and "digitize" are interchangeable in meaning, differing only in regional usage.
The process of digitisation or digitization is central to modern technology and data management. It enables easier storage, access, and sharing of information. Both "digitise" and "digitize" convey this technological process, regardless of the spelling variation.
Both terms are used in various contexts, from business and academia to personal use. Whether one uses "digitise" or "digitize" typically depends on the standard spelling conventions of their country or the style guide they are adhering to.
The conversion process described by both "digitise" and "digitize" is a fundamental aspect of the digital age, aiding in the preservation of information and making it more accessible and manipulable by digital systems.

Comparison Chart


Uses "s" in the spelling.
Uses "z" in the spelling.

Regional Preference

Preferred in British English contexts.
Preferred in American English contexts.

Usage in Publication

Common in UK-based publications.
Common in US-based publications.


Converting information to digital format.
Converting information to digital format.

Example of Use

"We need to digitise our paper archives."
"We need to digitize our paper archives."

Digitise and Digitize Definitions


To convert data or information into digital format.
The museum decided to digitise its rare manuscript collection.


To convert data or information into digital format.
We plan to digitize all our company’s files for better access.


The process of making information computer-readable.
Digitising medical records improves healthcare efficiency.


Changing analog signals into digital form.
Musicians digitize vinyl records to preserve the sound quality.


Turning hand-written documents into digital text.
Libraries often digitise historic documents for preservation.


Making information readable by computers.
Digitizing patient files can streamline hospital operations.


Converting physical photographs into digital images.
They digitise old family photos to share online.


Transcribing handwritten notes into digital text.
Researchers digitize old manuscripts for academic study.


Transforming analog signals into digital data.
Sound engineers digitise analog recordings to preserve them.


Converting physical images into digital files.
Art galleries digitize artworks for virtual tours.


Standard spelling of digitize


To put (data, for example) into digital form.


Put into digital form, as for use in a computer;
He bought a device to digitize the data


To represent something (such as an image or sound) as a structured sequence of binary digits.


To quantize a continuous or analog value; to convert it into a discrete value.


To finger.
To digitize a pen


To finger; as, to digitize a pen.


To convert (information, a signal, an image) into a form expressible in numbers or in binary notation. The original signal before digitization is usually in analog form.


Put into digital form, as for use in a computer;
He bought a device to digitize the data


Can digitise be used for video?

Yes, videos can be digitised for digital storage and editing.

Is digitisation only for documents?

No, it can be used for various data types, including images and sound.

Are there any differences in the digitization process?

No, the process is the same regardless of the spelling.

Do both terms mean the same in computing?

Yes, in computing, both terms refer to the same process.

Is digitizing expensive?

The cost can vary depending on the volume and type of data.

Is there a difference in pronunciation?

No, both words are pronounced the same way.

Why are there two spellings?

Different spellings reflect American and British English conventions.

What is the purpose of digitising information?

To make data easily accessible, storable, and shareable in digital form.

Can digitise and digitize be used in software development?

Yes, they are relevant in developing software for data management.

Can either term be used in a global context?

Yes, but it’s good to be consistent with the regional norm of your audience.

Are digitise and digitize interchangeable?

Yes, they are interchangeable but differ in regional spelling.

Is digitizing important in archiving?

Yes, it’s crucial for preserving and accessing historical records.

Can I use either spelling in academic writing?

It depends on the style guide you’re following or the regional norm.

Are there any limitations to digitising?

The quality of the digital format and the integrity of the original data can be limiting factors.

Does digitising involve coding?

It involves converting to a format that can be read by computers, which may involve coding.

Can everything be digitised?

Most things can be, but some items may present technical challenges.

Is digitizing secure?

It can be, but it depends on the security measures in place.

How has digitisation impacted libraries?

It has greatly expanded access to and preservation of their collections.

Is digitising reversible?

Once something is digitised, the original format can still be retained, but the process itself isn’t reversible.

Is digitisation a recent concept?

It has become more prevalent with the advancement of digital technology.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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