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file format

file format The way in which the information in a file is encoded. There are many proprietary formats – nearly every application has its own, often changing with new versions – as well as standard file formats such as RTF, TIFF, and EPS. In some systems, such as Apple Macintosh, the information about file format and originating application is part of the file, but in other systems it is up to the user to know what the format is, although there are more-or-less strict file-naming conventions. The multiplicity of file formats is a continuing problem for both software developers and users.

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