ARCHIVED: What is a binary file?
Binary files contain formatting information that only certain applications or processors can understand. While humans can read text files, binary files must be run on the appropriate software or processor before humans can read them. For example, only Microsoft Word and certain other word processing programs can interpret the formatting information in a Word document. Executable files, compiled programs, SAS and SPSS system files, spreadsheets, compressed files, and graphic (image) files are all examples of binary files.
For more, see Wikipedia's Binary file page.
Last modified on January 07, 2013.