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Native and foreign format

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A native format, in the context of software applications, refers to the file format which the application is designed to work with. It captures the internal reality of the program as well as is possible. Most likely this is also the default format of the application. A native file format therefore most likely has a one to one relationship with the applications features. In turn, a foreign format is not a true reflection of application internals, even though it may be supported by an application. To read a foreign file causes translation of data, this can cause data loss and further editing may prevent faithful writing back to the foreign format.
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