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File Format
Name FourCC

A FourCC (four-character code) is an arbitrary 32-bit identifier that doubles as a vaguely-readable 4-character ASCII string. A FourCC often identifies a data format, or the type of data contained in a segment of a file.

Some definitions of the term "FourCC" restrict it to identifiers of data formats, or even more strictly, to multimedia formats. This article does not adopt such a strict definition.

Format details

FourCC is not a formal standard. Each format that uses FourCCs defines its own rules about what constitites a valid FourCC. However, there are conventions that seem to be followed fairly consistently by most formats.

FourCC code names are case-sensitive. Names shorter than 4 characters are padded on the right with spaces. A name contains only printable ASCII characters (often only letters and digits), with spaces allowed only for padding.

There is no standard for whether the letters are uppercase, lowercase, or a mix of both. Some formats use the character case for special purposes.

In files that use little-endian byte order, the characters of a FourCC may or may not be stored in reverse order.

Related formats

Uses of FourCCs include:


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