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Term Brief description Charts

file format

A file format is a particular way that information is encoded for storage in a computer file. Since a disk drive, or indeed any computer storage, can store only bits, the computer must have some way of converting information to 0s and 1s and vice-versa. There are different kinds of formats for different kinds of information. Within any format type, e.g., word processor documents, there will typically be several different formats. Sometimes these formats compete with each other. File formats are divided into proprietary and open formats. (Excerpt from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_format">Wikipedia article: File format</a>)

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