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Photocopy vs. Xerox: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sara Rehman || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 18, 2024
Photocopy is a generic term for a duplicate made using a photocopier, while Xerox, originally a brand name, is often used synonymously for photocopying.

Key Differences

"Photocopy" is the process of making a paper copy of a document or image using a photocopier, a widely used term in various contexts. "Xerox," initially a brand name of a company that manufactures photocopiers, has become synonymous with photocopying, especially in some regions, although it is a specific brand.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
When someone makes a photocopy, they are using a machine to create a duplicate of a document or image. The term "Xerox" is often used interchangeably with photocopy, especially in North America, due to the brand's early dominance in the photocopy market.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
Photocopying is a general term and can be performed on machines made by various manufacturers. In contrast, Xerox refers specifically to photocopies made using Xerox brand machines, although it is often colloquially used to describe any photocopying action, regardless of the machine brand.
Sara Rehman
Jan 18, 2024
The verb "to photocopy" is universally understood to mean making a duplicate of a document. "To Xerox," while commonly understood in many places, is technically a brand-specific term that has become generalized in everyday language.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
Both terms, photocopy and Xerox, have become part of common language, but "photocopy" remains the more universally applicable term, while "Xerox" as a verb or noun can sometimes be more regionally specific and tied to the brand's presence and history in the market.
Janet White
Jan 18, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

The process of making a duplicate copy using a copier.
Often used synonymously for photocopying, originally a brand.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Brand Association

Generic term, no brand association.
Associated with the Xerox Corporation.
Sara Rehman
Jan 18, 2024

Usage

Universal in context.
Can be regionally more popular, especially in North America.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Context in Language

Used as a verb and noun.
Used as a verb and noun, but originally a proper noun.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Implication

Refers to the action irrespective of the machine brand.
Implies the use of Xerox brand machines, though generalized.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 18, 2024
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Photocopy and Xerox Definitions

Photocopy

The act or result of duplicating information on paper.
Can you photocopy this article for me?
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Xerox

To copy a document using a Xerox brand machine or any photocopier.
I'll Xerox the contract for our records.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

A duplicate copy made from an original document.
She handed out photocopies of the agenda.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Xerox

A term often used synonymously with photocopying, regardless of brand.
Can you Xerox this document for me?
Sara Rehman
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

A process of reproducing text or images.
He went to photocopy his ID card.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Xerox

Copying documents, commonly referred to by the brand name.
Please Xerox 50 copies of this booklet.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

Creating a paper copy using a photocopier.
Please photocopy each of these pages.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Xerox

The act of making duplicate copies on paper, typically associated with a specific brand.
She Xeroxed the flyer for distribution.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

To make a paper copy of a document using a copying machine.
I need to photocopy these reports for the meeting.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Xerox

A colloquial term for photocopying, derived from the Xerox brand.
He's in the office Xeroxing his report.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Photocopy

To make a photographic reproduction of (printed or graphic material), especially by xerography.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Xerox

A photocopy.
Hand me that xerox, would you?
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

A photographic or xerographic reproduction.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Xerox

A photocopier.
The xerox broke down yesterday.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

A copy made using a photocopier.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Xerox

To make a paper copy or copies by means of a photocopier.
I xeroxed the report for all the people at the meeting.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

To make a copy using a photocopier.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Xerox

A copy made by the xerox process
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

A photographic copy of written or printed or graphic work
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Xerox

Duplicator that copies graphic matter by the action of light on an electrically charged photoconductive insulating surface in which the latent image is developed with a resinous powder
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Photocopy

Reproduce by xerography
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Xerox

Reproduce by xerography
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

FAQs

Are Xerox copies legally valid?

Yes, Xerox copies are often accepted as valid, depending on context.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Is photocopying only black and white?

Photocopies can be both black and white or color.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Can any document be photocopied?

Most documents can be, barring legal restrictions like currency.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Does Xerox only refer to copies made by Xerox machines?

Technically, yes, but it’s often used generically for any photocopying.
Sara Rehman
Jan 18, 2024

How long does photocopying take?

It's usually a quick process, depending on the number of copies.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 18, 2024

Can I Xerox a book?

For personal use, usually yes, but not for distribution or sale.
Janet White
Jan 18, 2024

Is photocopying expensive?

The cost varies but is generally affordable for small quantities.
Harlon Moss
Jan 18, 2024

Is photocopy quality as good as the original?

It can be close, but usually not identical to the original.
Janet White
Jan 18, 2024

Can I Xerox a photograph?

Yes, but the quality may not match a photographic print.
Janet White
Jan 18, 2024

Can I photocopy in color?

Yes, if the photocopier has color capabilities.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Are Xerox copies admissible in court?

Often they are, but original documents are preferred.
Harlon Moss
Jan 18, 2024

Is Xeroxing environmentally friendly?

It can have environmental impacts; eco-friendly practices are advised.
Harlon Moss
Jan 18, 2024

Can photocopies be recycled?

Yes, most photocopy paper can be recycled.
Harlon Moss
Jan 18, 2024

Do Xerox machines use ink or toner?

Xerox machines typically use toner.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

How does a photocopier work?

It uses light, a lens, and toner to replicate images on paper.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Is Xerox a global brand?

Yes, Xerox is recognized worldwide.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 18, 2024

Do photocopies degrade over time?

They can, especially if exposed to light and heat.
Harlon Moss
Jan 18, 2024

Can I Xerox onto different paper sizes?

Yes, most Xerox machines accommodate multiple paper sizes.
Harlon Moss
Jan 18, 2024

Are there alternatives to photocopying?

Digital scanning and printing are common alternatives.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 18, 2024

Is it safe to Xerox sensitive documents?

Generally, yes, but ensure you use a secure and trustworthy service.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 18, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.

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