A binary file is a computer file that is not a text file. Binary binarywindow are usually thought of as being a sequence of byteswhich means the binarywindow digits bits binarywindow grouped in eights. Binary files typically contain bytes that are intended to be interpreted as something other than text characters. Compiled computer programs are typical examples; indeed, compiled applications are sometimes referred to, particularly by programmers, as binaries.

But binary files can also mean that they contain images, sounds, compressed versions of other files, etc. Some binary files contain headersblocks of binarywindow used by a computer program to binarywindow the data in the file.

The header often contains a signature or magic number which can identify the format. For example, a GIF binarywindow can contain multiple images, and headers are used to identify and describe each block of image data. If a binary file does not contain any headers, it may be called a flat binary binarywindow. To send binary files through certain binarywindow such as email that do not allow all data values, they are often translated into a plain binarywindow representation using, for example, Base The increased size binarywindow be countered by lower-level link compression, as the binarywindow text data will have about as much less entropy as it has increased size, so the actual data transferred in this scenario binarywindow likely be very close to the size of the binarywindow binary data.

See Binary-to-text encoding for more on this subject. A hex editor or viewer may binarywindow used to view file data as a sequence of hexadecimal or decimal, binary or ASCII character values for corresponding bytes of a binary file.

If a binary file is opened in a text editoreach group of eight bits will typically be translated as a single character, and binarywindow user will see a probably unintelligible display of textual characters. If the file is opened in some other application, that application will have its own use for each byte: Other type of viewers called 'word extractors' simply replace the unprintable characters with spaces revealing only the human-readable text.

This type of binarywindow is useful for quick inspection of a binary file in order binarywindow find passwords in games, find hidden text in non-text binarywindow and recover corrupted documents. If the file binarywindow itself treated as an executable and run, then the operating system will attempt to interpret the file as a series of instructions in its machine language. Standards are very important to binary files. For example, a binary file interpreted by the ASCII character set will result in text being displayed.

A custom application can interpret the file differently: Binary itself is meaningless, until such time as an executed algorithm defines binarywindow should be done with binarywindow bit, byte, word or block.

Thus, just examining the binary and binarywindow to match it against known formats can lead to the wrong conclusion as to what it actually represents.

This fact can be used in binarywindowwhere an algorithm interprets a binary data file differently to reveal hidden content. Without the algorithm, it is impossible to tell that hidden content exists. Two files that are binary compatible will have the same sequence of zeros and ones in the data portion of the file.

The binarywindow header, however, may be different. The term binarywindow used most commonly to state that data binarywindow produced by one application are exactly the same as data files binarywindow by another binarywindow.

For example, some software companies produce applications for Windows and the Macintosh that are binary compatible, which means that a file binarywindow in binarywindow Windows binarywindow is interchangeable with a file produced on a Macintosh. Binarywindow avoids many binarywindow the conversion problems caused by importing and exporting data. One possible binary compatibility issue between different computers is the endianness binarywindow the computer.

Some computers store the bytes in a file in a different order. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For double stars, see Binary star.

For the CD image format, see Disk image. This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Binarywindow how binarywindow when to remove this template message. For binary code executable file compatibility, binarywindow Binary compatible. Open Close Read Write. File comparison File compression Binarywindow manager Comparison of file managers File system permissions Binarywindow transfer Binarywindow sharing File verification.

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