Ask Difference

Document vs. Record — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on September 9, 2023
A Document can be a draft or final item, while a Record is a final, official version of an item.

Difference Between Document and Record

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Key Differences

A Document refers to any written or printed information in physical or electronic format. A Record, on the other hand, is an official finalized Document that provides evidence or information.
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Sep 09, 2023
Documents are often preliminary, such as drafts or versions of a given item, which might undergo several revisions. Records, meanwhile, are those Documents that have reached their final form and are often archived for future reference.
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Sep 09, 2023
When you think about Documents, think flexibility and evolution. They can change and be modified over time. Records represent permanence. Once a Document becomes a Record, it generally remains unchanged as it serves as a testimony or evidence.
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Sep 09, 2023
In many business and legal contexts, it's crucial to distinguish between Documents and Records. Documents can be temporary and adjustable, whereas Records stand as the undeniable truth or final version of an event or transaction.
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Sep 09, 2023
A simple way to differentiate is to consider Documents as living entities that can evolve, whereas Records are frozen in time, capturing a moment or fact that will not change.
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Sep 09, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Dynamic and can be modified
Fixed and unchangeable
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Purpose

To convey or store information
To serve as evidence or official testimony
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Durability

Might be temporary or evolving
Permanent once declared as a Record
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Life Cycle

Can have various versions
Has reached its final version
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Authenticity

Can be questioned
Generally accepted as the truth
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Compare with Definitions

Document

A Document is a piece of written, printed, or electronic material.
I reviewed the Document before signing it.
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Record

A Record is an official report of events or facts.
The meeting's minutes served as a Record of what was discussed.
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Document

A Document serves as evidence or information.
The detective found a crucial Document in the case.
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Record

A Record is a stored piece of information in databases.
The system keeps a Record of all transactions.
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Document

A Document is a file or content in digital form.
I have saved the presentation as a Document on my computer.
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Record

A Record can be a high achievement or performance.
She set a new world Record in swimming.
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Document

A Document can be a draft or version of a work.
This is just a Document; the final version will be ready tomorrow.
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Record

A Record refers to a disc or tape used to reproduce music or sound.
I bought a new vinyl Record today.
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Document

A Document can be an official paper or form.
You need to submit the Document to apply.
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Sep 06, 2023

Record

A Record is an account in written or printed form.
The library has a Record of all borrowed books.
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Sep 06, 2023

Document

A document is a written, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of non-fictional, as well as fictional, content. The word originates from the Latin Documentum, which denotes a "teaching" or "lesson": the verb doceō denotes "to teach".
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Record

To set down for preservation in writing or other permanent form
She recorded her thoughts in a diary.
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Document

A piece of written, printed, or electronic matter that provides information or evidence or that serves as an official record.
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Record

To register or indicate
The clerk recorded the votes.
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Document

Record (something) in written, photographic, or other form
The photographer spent years documenting the lives of miners
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Record

To render (sound or images) into permanent form for reproduction in a magnetic or electronic medium.
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Document

A written or printed paper that bears the original, official, or legal form of something and can be used to furnish decisive evidence or information.
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Record

To record the words, sound, appearance, or performance of (someone or something)
Recorded the oldest townspeople on tape.
Recorded the violin concerto.
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Document

Something, such as a recording or a photograph, that can be used to furnish evidence or information.
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Record

To record something.
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Document

A writing that contains information.
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Record

An account, as of information or facts, set down especially in writing as a means of preserving knowledge.
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Document

(Computers) A piece of work created with an application, as with a word processor.
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Record

Something on which such an account is based.
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Document

(Computers) A computer file that is not an executable file and contains data for use by applications.
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Record

Something that records
A fossil record.
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Document

Something, especially a material substance such as a coin bearing a revealing symbol or mark, that serves as proof or evidence.
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Record

Information or data on a particular subject collected and preserved
The coldest day on record.
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Document

To furnish with a document or documents.
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Record

The known history of performance, activities, or achievement
Your academic record.
Hampered by a police record.
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Document

To methodically record the details of
"I had thought long and logically about ... how to document the patterns of dolphin behavior" (Diana Reiss).
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Record

An unsurpassed measurement
A world record in weightlifting.
A record for cold weather.
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Document

To support (an assertion or claim, for example) with evidence or decisive information.
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Record

(Computers) A collection of related, often adjacent items of data, treated as a unit.
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Document

To support (statements in a book, for example) with written references or citations; annotate.
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Record

(Law) A transcript or a collection of statements and related information reporting the proceedings of a legislative body, a court, or an executive.
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Document

An original or official paper used as the basis, proof, or support of anything else, including any writing, book, or other instrument conveying information pertinent to such proof or support.
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Record

A disk designed to be played on a phonograph.
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Document

Any material substance on which the information is represented by writing.
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Record

A musical recording that is issued on a medium of some kind.
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Document

(computing) A file that contains text.
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Record

An item of information put into a temporary or permanent physical medium.
The person had a record of the interview so she could review her notes.
The tourist's photographs and the tape of the police call provide a record of the crime.
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Document

(obsolete) That which is taught or authoritatively set forth; precept; instruction; dogma.
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Record

Any instance of a physical medium on which information was put for the purpose of preserving it and making it available for future reference.
We have no record of you making this payment to us.
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Document

(obsolete) An example for instruction or warning.
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Record

Ellipsis of phonograph record: a disc, usually made from vinyl, on which sound is recorded and may be replayed on a phonograph.
I still like records better than CDs.
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Document

To record in documents.
He documented each step of the process as he did it, which was good when the investigation occurred.
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Record

(computing) A set of data relating to a single individual or item.
Pull up the record on John Smith. What's his medical history?
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Document

To furnish with documents or papers necessary to establish facts or give information.
A ship should be documented according to the directions of law.
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Record

(programming) A data structure similar to a struct, in some programming languages such as C# and Java based on classes and designed for storing immutable data.
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Document

That which is taught or authoritatively set forth; precept; instruction; dogma.
Learners should not be too much crowded with a heap or multitude of documents or ideas at one time.
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Record

The most extreme known value of some variable, particularly that of an achievement in competitive events.
The heat and humidity were both new records.
The team set a new record for most points scored in a game.
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Document

An example for instruction or warning.
They were forth with stoned to death, as a document to others.
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Record

(attributive) Enough to break previous records and set a new one; world-class; extreme.
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Document

An original or official paper relied upon as the basis, proof, or support of anything else; - in its most extended sense, including any writing, book, or other instrument conveying information in the case; any material substance on which the thoughts of men are represented by any species of conventional mark or symbol.
Saint Luke . . . collected them from such documents and testimonies as he . . . judged to be authentic.
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Record

(transitive) To make a record of information.
I wanted to record every detail of what happened, for the benefit of future generations.
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Document

To teach; to school.
I am finely documented by my own daughter.
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Record

(transitive) To make an audio or video recording of.
Within a week they had recorded both the song and the video for it.
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Document

To furnish with documents or papers necessary to establish facts or give information; as, a a ship should be documented according to the directions of law.
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Record

To give legal status to by making an official public record.
When the deed was recorded, we officially owned the house.
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Document

Writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)
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Record

(intransitive) To fix in a medium, usually in a tangible medium.
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Document

Anything serving as a representation of a person's thinking by means of symbolic marks
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Record

(intransitive) To make an audio, video, or multimedia recording.
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Document

A written account of ownership or obligation
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Record

To repeat; to practice.
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Document

(computer science) a computer file that contains text (and possibly formatting instructions) using 7-bit ASCII characters
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Record

To sing or repeat a tune.
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Document

Record in detail;
The parents documented every step of their child's development
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Record

(obsolete) To reflect; to ponder.
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Document

Support or supply with references;
Can you document your claims?
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Record

To recall to mind; to recollect; to remember; to meditate.
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Record

To repeat; to recite; to sing or play.
They longed to see the day, to hear the larkRecord her hymns, and chant her carols blest.
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Record

To preserve the memory of, by committing to writing, to printing, to inscription, or the like; to make note of; to write or enter in a book or on parchment, for the purpose of preserving authentic evidence of; to register; to enroll; as, to record the proceedings of a court; to record historical events.
Those things that are recorded of him . . . are written in the chronicles of the kings.
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Record

To reflect; to ponder.
Praying all the way, and recording upon the words which he before had read.
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Record

To sing or repeat a tune.
Whether the birds or she recorded best.
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Record

A writing by which some act or event, or a number of acts or events, is recorded; a register; as, a record of the acts of the Hebrew kings; a record of the variations of temperature during a certain time; a family record.
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Record

An official contemporaneous writing by which the acts of some public body, or public officer, are recorded; as, a record of city ordinances; the records of the receiver of taxes.
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Record

Testimony; witness; attestation.
John bare record, saying.
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Record

That which serves to perpetuate a knowledge of acts or events; a monument; a memorial.
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Record

That which has been, or might be, recorded; the known facts in the course, progress, or duration of anything, as in the life of a public man; as, a politician with a good or a bad record.
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Record

That which has been publicly achieved in any kind of competitive sport as recorded in some authoritative manner, as the time made by a winning horse in a race.
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Record

Anything (such as a document or a phonograph record or a photograph) providing permanent evidence of or information about past events;
The film provided a valuable record of stage techniques
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Record

The number of wins versus losses and ties a team has had;
At 9-0 they have the best record in their league
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Record

An extreme attainment; the best (or worst) performance ever attested (as in a sport);
He tied the Olympic record
Coffee production last year broke all previous records
Chicago set the homicide record
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Record

Sound recording consisting of a disc with continuous grooves; formerly used to reproduce music by rotating while a phonograph needle tracked in the grooves
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Record

The sum of recognized accomplishments;
The lawyer has a good record
The track record shows that he will be a good president
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Record

A list of crimes for which an accused person has been previously convicted;
He ruled that the criminal record of the defendant could not be disclosed to the court
The prostitute had a record a mile long
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Record

A compilation of the known facts regarding something or someone;
Al Smith used to say, `Let's look at the record'
His name is in all the recordbooks
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Record

A document that can serve as legal evidence of a transaction;
They could find no record of the purchase
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Record

Make a record of; set down in permanent form
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Record

Register electronically;
They recorded her singing
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Record

Indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments;
The thermometer showed thirteen degrees below zero
The gauge read `empty'
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Record

Be aware of;
Did you register any change when I pressed the button?
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Record

Be or provide a memorial to a person or an event;
This sculpture commemorates the victims of the concentration camps
We memorialized the Dead
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Common Curiosities

Are Records permanent?

Once something is declared a Record, it is generally permanent and unchangeable.
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Are all Documents Records?

No, only finalized and official Documents that serve as evidence are considered Records.
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What's an example of a Document?

A draft of a report, a work in progress, or an editable file on a computer.
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Are Documents less important than Records?

Not necessarily. While Records serve as official evidence, Documents are essential for communication, drafting, and information storage.
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What is a Document?

A Document is a piece of written, printed, or electronic material that conveys information or evidence.
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Can a Document become a Record?

Yes, once a Document reaches its finalized form and serves as official evidence, it becomes a Record.
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What is a Record?

A Record is a final, official report or account of events, facts, or music.
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Can Documents change over time?

Yes, Documents can be modified, updated, or have various versions.
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Why are Records important?

Records serve as official evidence, testimony, or documentation of events, decisions, or transactions.
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How should I manage my Records?

Records should be carefully managed, archived, and protected since they serve as official evidence.
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Can I make changes to a Record?

Typically, no. Records are meant to be permanent representations of facts or events.
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What's an example of a Record?

The official minutes of a meeting, a finalized contract, or an archived official letter.
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Do Records always exist in physical form?

No, Records can exist in both physical and digital formats.
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Can a Record be deleted or destroyed?

Depending on the context and regulations, some Records may be disposed of after a certain period, but it's essential to follow proper procedures and guidelines.
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Sep 09, 2023

Can a Document be in electronic format?

Yes, Documents can be in physical, printed, or electronic formats.
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Sep 09, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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