Updated April 5, 2023
Introduction to File Formats
File format is a standard way that information is encoded for storage in a computer file. It specifies how bits are used to encode information in a digital storage medium. Some file formats are designed for a very particular type of data such as png files, audio file. Other file formats, however, are designed for the storage of several different types of data. Text file consist of a sequence of characters. Various types of formats are designed to perform a number of operations. Numerous formats are available; in this article, we are going to discuss some of them.
List of file formats are as follows:
1. Plain text:
Plain text files are the files that are readable. It represents only characters of readable material but not its graphical representation nor other objects. It may include numbers, white space, tabulation characters, lines, symbols. Plain text files can be opened, read, and edited with ubiquitous text editors and utilities. It can also implement in the command-line interface, where the user can give input in plain text format and gets the response in plain text format only. Supports operating systems like Windows, UNIX, macOS, DOS. Plain text file format uses .txt extension to save the file.
2. Comma-separated values:
Comma-separated values is nothing but a CSV file format which uses a comma to separate the values. It stores the tabular data in plain text format where each line has the same number of fields. It consists of records where each record has the same sequence of fields. It provides import and export tools that allow other separators to integrate. The CSV file format is not fully standardized. It gets complicated when the record contains a comma and embedded line breaks.
PDF stands for Portable Document Format standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format developed by Adobe in 1993 to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Based on the PostScript language, each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, vector graphics, raster images, and other information needed to display it.
Doc is a computer files format used to save text documents. It contains more text formatting information than some other document file formats such as hypertext hyper language, rich text format. Doc file is created with Microsoft word processor. Another word processor like AbiWord, apple pages, etc. can also create and read doc files. Command-line programs for Unix-like operating systems that can convert files from the DOC format to plain text or other standard formats
5. Rich text format:
Rich text file format is also known as RTF format. Rich text format is a document file format developed by Microsoft. Most word processing software support either Rich text format importing and exporting for some RTF specification or direct editing, which makes it a common format between otherwise incompatible word processing software and operating systems. It supports metadata and author. Mostly all word processors can read and write the RTF.
6. Binary file:
Binary file is a computer file that consists of a sequence of bytes. i.e. binary digits are grouped into 8. It bytes that are intended to be interpreted as something other than text characters. It also contains images, sound, compressed versions of other files. Two files that are binary compatible will have the same sequence of zeros and ones in the data portion of the file. The file header, however, may be different.
7. Batch file:
Batch file is a script file in Microsoft windows, DOS, OS/2. it consists of a sequence of commands, these commands are executed by a command-line interpreter and stored in plain text format. For DOS, it uses .bat extension, for windows .cmd extension. For various environments, it uses a variety of extensions. Based on the version, the working structure of the batch file differs. Batch file is used to ease the work required for certain regular tasks by allowing the user to set up a script to automate them.
8. INI file:
INI file is a computer file format consists of text-based content with well-defined structure and syntax, and properties. The name comes from the MS-DOS operating system which uses Extension INI for initialization. It is mainly used for configuration. It saves the document in plain text format only. It is used by Windows OSs and Windows-based applications to store information about the user’s preferences and operating environment.
Here in this article, we have discussed various file formats such as plain text, comma-separated values, PDF, doc, Rich text format, Binary file, batch file, and INI file. Hope you enjoyed the article.
This is a guide to File Formats. Here we discuss the Introduction, Different List of file formats. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –