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A data format is an arrangement of data according to preset specifications, generally for the purpose of computer processing. Data formats are identified by file extensions, which are a group of letters, numbers, or other characters after a period in a file name.

Sites offering information and resources relating to data formats and file extensions are the focus of topics in this category.

Computer programs or applications accept data as input in a specific format, process it, then provides it as output in the same format, or in another, depending on the program. Computer data is stored in some format, the expectation being that it will be processed by a program or application that is designed to recognize, access, and sometimes process files in that format. Typically, data formats are seen as bitmaps, which are strings of 0s and 1s that describe images or sound patterns, as text formats, in which each byte value is mapped to a character, and numeric data formats, that are used by spreadsheets and other database programs.

For example, common audio file formats are identified by the following formats: .aif, .cds, .mid, .midi, .mp3, .mpa, .ogg, .wav, .wma, and .wpl. Video file formats may be associated with the following extensions: .3g2, .3gp, .avi, .flv, .h264, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mp4, .mpg, .mpeg, .rm, .swf, .vob, or .wmv.

Compressed file extensions include .7z, .arj, .deb, .pkg, .rar, .rpm, .tar.gz, .z, and .zip. While creating an image of a disc or other media, the contained files are saved to an image file, which are commonly identified by the following extensions: .bin, .dmg, .iso, .toast, and .vcd. A data file could be any file, but the most common data files that relate to data used for a database, errors, information, importing, and exporting, are .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .log, .mdb, .sav, .sql, .tar, and .xml

An executable file is one that is used to perform various functions or operations on a computer. Sometimes known as program files, an executable file cannot be read becsuse it is compiled. Clicking on an executable file will boot the program or begin whatever task the file was created to do. Common executable files are .bat, .com, .exe, and .bin for a PC-compatible computer, while the macOS recognizes .dmg and. app files as executable. Other executable data formats and extensions are used by other operating systems.

Common font file extensions are .fnt, .fon, .otf, and .ttf, while image files may include .ai, .bmp, .gif, .ico, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .ps, .psd, .svg, .tif, and .tiff.

Today, the Internet is the most commonly used resource on the computer and, given that web servers use computers to serve the requested files, there are dozens of file extensions that are used online, and recognized by most web browsers. Besides many of the image and video file extensions, these might include .asp, .aspx, .cer, .cfm, .cgi, .css, .htm, .html, .js. .jsp, .part, .pdf, .php, .py, .rss, and .xhtml, as well as many others, some of which might be interpreted by some browsers but not others. When uploaded to a web server, many text files may also be read by a browser.

Specific programs and applications often use proprietary file extensions, which may be read only through these or compatible programs. For example, Keynote presentation files may use a .key extension, while PowerPoint uses .pps, .ppt, or .pptx extensions. Common extensions used by word processors or text editors include .doc, .docx, .odt, .pdf, .rtf, .tex, .txt, .wks, .wps, and .wpd.

The average computer or Internet user may never view some of these file extensions, yet they are important in the operation of computer applications and programs, as well as for browsing the web.










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