Why are there different file formats?

different file formats

Do you know how many different file formats are there? Why do they exist? Are there any file categories? Can we convert files from one format to another? And what about changing file formats from one file category to another?

File format categories

You are probably well-aware that everything that is downloaded or even seen on your computer and similar devices is a file, and every file has its format. For example, every movie is a file, every document is a file, every e-mail is a file, every song is a file, and every website is a file as well. Of course, all the mentioned files are from a different file category. 

In case you were wondering, there are several file categories such as image, video, audio, vector, spreadsheet, presentation, document, e-book, and archive. When you look at them, it is reasonable why files are separated that way because video file formats and spreadsheet file formats store completely different types of data. 

different file formats

Another reason why is there so many different file formats is that different needs and professions require different file quality and sizes. For example, musicians need file formats with high quality that are usually bigger, while smaller size audios are much better for those who listen to music on their phones.

What is the file format of my document?

If you are not sure what is the file format of some file, you should check on letters that stand after the punctuation of the file name. For example, an image named image.jpg has the JPG part in its name, which means that it is stored with the JPG file extension. Similarly, if a document file is named document.docx, it means that it is a Word document in the DOCX file format.

different file formats - images

But, file formats aren’t there just to help us with figuring out if the file is image or video. They are also quite important because sometimes they can help us distinguishing safe files from viruses. That’s right, viruses have their formats as well, and it is important to know them because if you recognize harmful files on time, it can save you a lot of time and data. Don’t you agree?

Luckily, computers, laptops, and similar devices nowadays have their system for file format recognition, and in most cases, devices open documents in programs that support them. But in case you don’t have a software or app that is compatible with your document’s file format, you should convert it to one of the popular formats. And the best way to do it is to use our Converter365.