A soft copy is a document saved on a computer. It is the electronic version of a document, which can be opened and edited using a software program.
The term "soft copy" is most often used in contrast to hard copy, which is the printed version of a document. Soft copies can be sent via e-mail or over a network connection, which makes them a more efficient and cost effective option than using hard copies for communications. The downside to using soft copies is that they require a computer and software to open and can be accidentally deleted. Of course, some people have so many papers on their desks, a soft copy may be less likely to disappear.