Difference Between Document and Record


Main Difference

The main difference between Document and Record is that a Document is made after planning something that how it should be done, whereas the Record is created when something is done before any planning.

Document vs. Record

The document is a planning of how something should be done, whereas a record is an evidence that something has already been done. The document also called a process, but a record is called a result or outcome. A document can be incomplete or complete; on the contrary, a record is always complete. A document made before acting; on the other hand, a record made as evidence of action.


A document can easily be changed and edited; on the flip side, a record is permanent and cannot be changed. A document is not always a record, but a record is always a document. A document is regarded as a support to record, whereas a record is not. A document cannot store for a long time, but most records are kept for a longer time as they are evidence of actions.

Documents are generally less organized as compared to records; on the other hand, records are highly structured and have a proper form. Documents are generally in written or typewritten form. Records, on the other side, maybe in the form of tables, graphs, and images. Documents include textbooks, books, novels, and recipe books; on the contrary, records include maps, accounting papers, official files, identity cards, driving license, and property files.


Comparison Chart

A document is planning about how something can be and should be doneA record is evidence of something done
A document is never complete, and there is always a space of making changes and adding something newA record is complete in itself as it is made after something is done
Documents can easily be alteredA record cannot be altered
Less durable than recordsMore durable than records
Time Duration
It gives a general status of something without any specification of timeIt gives specific information about something within a specific period
They are less accurateThey are highly accurate
They are less preciseThey are more precise
They are mostly unstructured but sometimes structuredThey are highly formal and organized
It can easily be modified and recreatedIt cannot be recreated
To plan actionsTo keep evidence of actions
Textbooks, novels, books, websites, etcReceipts, maps, accounting papers, payment bills, identity cards, etc

What is a Document?

The document is a representation of a thought which written, drawn, or represented. In the past, the word ‘document’ used to refer to something as written proof or evidence of actions. In the modern age, most documents are in typed form, so they include text colors, font sizes, images, tables, and graphics used in them. Based on advancements in technology, typewritten documents are much better than handwritten documents as they can easily amend. Editing and deleting is a much easier process in typewritten documents.

A document is not only something written pictures, videos rather, and sounds can also categorize as documents. Documents may be articles, newspapers, historical journals and sale invoices. The document is one of the types of information. It may be manual or electronic. It may be shorter or consist of many files i.e., part of something bigger. The worth of documents varies according to their usage, so their validity cannot challenge.

Documents can be of any kind. They may be instruction manuals that come with various things about how they should be done. They may be some question answer papers. Documents can also be some information manual. Some documents also show copyright claims. They show someone’s ownership of a product, writing, pictures, etc.

Documents are categorized as empirical, factual, historical, and web-based. Practical documents include newspapers, articles, journals, and magazines. Historical documents include religious books, essays, and texts which are of high prestige. Factual documents include books, textbooks, novels, guide books, and recipe books. Web-based documents are the documents available on the internet. They are present on different websites.

What is a Record?

Record defined as the evidence of history. It is made after an action done as proof that this has been done and cannot be changed. They are highly durable and very precise. Records may be handwritten or typewritten, or digital, but whatever kind they maybe they are the most important files.

The benefit of having records is that data can be obtained and accessed easily, and relevant material can be collected. Whatever is unnecessary can be deleted. Records store data in a very accurate and systematic way. Legal papers, accounting papers, maps, and political papers are the most important form of records.

Records are the most important forms of information. They may be legal, historical, research, and electronic records. Legal records include the records of property, bank transactions, official files, identity cards, etc. Historical records information about past actions. They may date from thousand years to a day before. Historical records give evidence of actions committed in the past; they are used to trace the history of criminal actions. Records are very helpful in giving citizens their due rights. A CCTV camera recording is the most accurate and trustworthy form of records these days.

Records are also research records. All the researches conducted by different researchers are saved for future study. Electronic records are the records created on electronic devices. Nowadays, most records are electronic records. The trend of handwritten records has long been forgotten.

Key Differences

  1. A document is planning about how something can be and should be done. On the other hand, a record is evidence of something done.
  2. A document is never complete, and there is always a space of making changes and adding something new, whereas a record is always complete in itself as it is made after something is done.
  3. The document is easily be altered; on the contrary, the record cannot be altered or edited.
  4. The document is less durable than the record.
  5. The document gives a general status of something without any specification of time. On the flip side, the record gives specific information about something within a specific period.
  6. The document is less accurate, whereas the record is more precise.
  7. The document is mostly unstructured but sometimes structured; conversely, the record is highly formal and organized.
  8. A document can easily be modified and recreated. On the opposite side, a record cannot be recreated.
  9. The document is made to plan actions; on the other hand, the record is made to keep evidence of actions.
  10. The document includes books, textbooks, and novels; on the flip side, the record includes maps, official files, identity cards, and property files.


Document and Record both are a source of information. The document is the prior planning of action, and Record is formed after an action has been done.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson