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A file format is a

file type based on file structure, layout, or how a particular file handles the information (sounds, words, images) contained within it. A file’s format is usually indicated by the three- or four-letter file extension in the MS-DOS filename, e.g., .doc or .jpg.[1]
[p]ackages of information that can be stored as data files consisting of a fixed byte-serialized encoding of a specified information model, and/or a fixed encoding of that encoding in a tangible form on a physical storage structure.[2]