Browse Definitions :
Definition

format

Contributor(s): Jennifer Sobczynski

Also see file format.

1) A format (noun, pronounced FOHR-mat) is a preestablished layout for data. A computer program accepts data as input in a certain format, processes it, and provides it as output in the same or another format. All data is stored in some format with the expectation that it will be processed by a program that knows how to handle that format. Generically, data formats tend to fall into bitmaps (strings of 0s and 1s) that describe images or sound patterns (or both), text formats (in which usually each byte value is mapped to a character), and numeric data formats (used by spreadsheet and other database programs).

A hard disk or other storage device is also said to be formatted when its space has been organized and divided into pieces that can be controlled for convenient storage and access. For example, a hard disk may be formatted into areas called sectors, tracks, and clusters.

2) To format (verb) a document or file for printing or displaying is to add the necessary information to it so that the output device will know how to present the output.

3) To format (verb) a hard disk or diskette is to set up the space divisions on the medium and initiate a space allocation table that will know exactly how to reach each bit of data that may be stored there later.

This was last updated in September 2005

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...

SearchStorage

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • business impact analysis (BIA)

    Business impact analysis (BIA) is a systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to ...

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive that is used in internally mounted storage expansion cards of a small form factor.

Close