Native File Format

What Does Native File Format Mean?

Native file format refers to the default file format that an application uses to create or save files. Most software developers create their own proprietary file formats, which can only be used by their own software, at least initially. When the software or application becomes popular enough that other developers create software that mimics or extends its functionalities, they will also use this format. This is one of the ways that a file format becomes standard in its own field of use.


Techopedia Explains Native File Format

Native file formats vary depending on the type of software that created them. The contents will also vary wildly from simple ASCII characters, to mathematical equations outlining vectors for graphics. Some software programs have the ability to save files in formats aside from their native formats. For example, Microsoft Word’s native file format is .docx, but users are still given the option to save in other formats like .txt, .pdf and .rtf, which can also be used by Word. Photoshop, as well as other image-editing software, can be saved in most or all available image formats. In the same vein, CAD and 3-D modeling software can save and read files from other similar software or in standard file formats used for these types of data.


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Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…