The pattern of organization of information in an electronic storage medium, such as the number and size of records, or the size, spacing, or separation symbols for fields in a record. A computer file, for example, may be in fixed-length format, in which each field or record occupies the same number of bytes, or in variable-length format, in which the lengths of fields or records varies. The number of formats are unlimited, being specifiable at will by programmers or in some cases by the users of programs.
Verb: To format a floppy disk is to prepare it to receive and store material in the appropriate manner (using the DOS system for example, as opposed to the Mac or vice versa) The Mac calls this initialising. Disks are usually available pre-formatted. Noun: When we speak of the format of a file we are most often talking about what system (PC or Mac?) or what word-processor (Word or Wordperfect?) the document has been produced using. Most word-processors provide a facility by which you can make a copy of your document in a different format (try the save as... function).