Updated: 11/18/2022 by Computer Hope

Format may refer to any of the following:

1. Format or document format is the overall layout of a document or spreadsheet. For example, the formatting of text on many English documents is aligned to the left of a page. With text, a user could change its format to bold to help emphasize text.


It's also possible to format a paragraph with paragraph formatting.


Before any text can be formatted, you must first highlight (select) the text you want to format.

Excel home number

In a spreadsheet, a user may change the format of a cell to be a different number format (e.g., currency, percentage, date, etc.).

2. Format is a command that prepares a blank diskette, hard drive, or another drive to hold data. If the disk or drive already contains information, all information on it would be erased. For example, if you wanted to wipe everything on your hard drive, typing "format C:" would effectively erase all data on your computer, including the operating system (e.g., Windows).

3. Format refers to how a file is saved on a computer. See our file format page for further information.

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