File Formats

Files are in several formats which all have their advantages and disadvantages. To save space and downloading time, they are often compressed. For compression we use gzip version 1.2.4. Compressed file names end in ".gz".

Common Formats

Here are some examples of common file formats, illustrated in some cases with a small (two page) abstract.

Other File Formats

Other formats include plain ASCII text files (txt), which are useful for things such as numerical tables, since they can easily be used as input to programs. Text files are often compressed.

Here is a plain text file (2269 bytes), and here is the corresponding compressed file (663 bytes).

Here is a JPEG file (a picture, 10382 bytes).

Sometimes it is convenient to collect several files in one large file. On Unix systems this is usually done using a TAR (tar) file. It usually pays to compress tar files unless their contents are already compressed. Other systems have different utilities to accomplish the same purpose as tar, and some combine this with compression (e.g. PKZIP is common on DOS systems).

is a sample tar file (24576 bytes) and here is the corresponding compressed file (3633 bytes).

Format of Publications

In the list of publications:


Viewing Compressed Postscript Files

Most of my papers are available in pdf format and/or gzipped postscript format ([ps] above). Most browsers can handle at least one of these formats. For information on how to view compressed postscript on various systems (including Windows, Macintosh, Unix), please press here.


Sending Files to me by Email

If you want to send me a file by email, it is reasonable to assume that I can decode and/or print files in any of the above formats (there may be exceptions due to the level, memory requirements, page sizes etc). Plain text [txt] or postscript [ps] is usually best. If you send any binary files (e.g.  dvi, pdf, tar, or any compressed files) they need to be encoded before being sent by email. For example, uuencoded, "pgp -a" and "base64" encodings are acceptable.

Intentional Omission

There is no mention of Microsoft Word above. This is because the Word format is ill-defined and proprietary. I seldom produce Word documents and I have difficulty reading them. If you want me to read a Word document, please see the instructions here.

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