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A binary format is a format in which file information is stored in the form of ones and zeros, or in some other binary (two-state) sequence. This type of format is often used for executable files and numeric information in computer programming and memory.
In a mathematical sense, binary converts multi-digit numbers or other information to a series of ones and zeros. Some might call this an on-off format, because each bit of data is either in one of two states. Collectively, these strings of ones and zeros (or on and off designations) can form much more sophisticated data sets.
Files that are in binary format can often be described as presented in machine language. Computers take those binary ones and zeros, and translate them into executable language or other kinds of code.
Other kinds of formats include text format, where individual characters are represented as their own digital codes, or hexadecimal format, in which a base-16 number system is used to represent integers or other data.