What Does Roundtripping Mean?

Roundtripping in IT is the process of converting a document or file from one format to another, and then back to its original format. This term is commonly used to talk about conversion to and from different types of word processors, accounting platforms, markup languages or other information formats.


Techopedia Explains Roundtripping

Roundtripping can involve some common issues. One is the issue of degradation, where data gets essentially flipped back and forth between two different formats. Sometimes, small bits of information are lost each time. For example, in converting images to and from a bitmap, small bits of color or resolution can be compromised, and the final result can be inferior. The same is true with word processors, where trying to fit a document into the particular styles can lead to some degradation over time, with many conversions. In addition, some IT experts talk about whether services actually deliver roundtripping, or whether they just duplicate the document for a different format.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.