File Format Terms

File formats refer to the specific ways in which digital information is structured and stored on a computer or other electronic device. These terms are used to describe the various types of files that can be created, accessed, and manipulated on a computer, as well as the specific features and characteristics of each file format.

Some common file format terms include:

  • File extension: A file extension is the three- or four-letter code at the end of a file’s name that indicates the type of file it is. For example, a file with the extension “.txt” is a plain text file, while a file with the extension “.docx” is a Microsoft Word document.
  • Compression: Compression refers to the process of reducing the size of a file by removing redundant or unnecessary data. This can be useful for storing or transmitting large files more efficiently.
  • Encoding: Encoding refers to the process of converting data into a specific format for storage or transmission. This could mean changing the data from one file format to another or using a certain encoding scheme to show the data in a certain way.
  • Data structure: A data structure is the way in which data is organized and stored within a file. Different file formats can use different data structures to represent different types of information.
  • Metadata: Metadata includes information such as the file’s name, size, and creation date, as well as other details about the file’s content and purpose.
  • Binary file: A binary file is a type of computer file that is stored in a format that is not human-readable but can be interpreted by a computer. Binary files are typically used to store executable programs, images, and other types of data that need to be accessed quickly by a computer.
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