What file formats does the iPad support?

Written by frank luger Google
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What file formats does the iPad support?
Apple's tablet device is one of many mobile devices on the market. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

New computer technology is made useful, at least in part, by the number of commonly available file formats it supports. The iPad is no exception, supporting a range of popular file formats for image files, word processing, web pages, audio and video. The device also supports all the file formats of Apple applications included on the iPad.

Image file and Web page formats

According to Apple, the iPad supports .jpg, .tiff and .gif image file formats. Jpg, also referred to as Jpeg, indicates a compression method pioneered by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. Tiff files are so called because they are in Tagged Image File Format. Gif files are Graphics Interchange Format files. The iPad supports both .htm and .html file formats. Htm is a file extension for HTML files. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, which is the standard markup language for Web pages.

Microsoft file formats

Microsoft Word file formats supported by the iPad are .doc and .docx. Doc is an abbreviation of document. Docx refers to an XML version of the doc file, one of the latest incarnations of the word processing file format, as of April 2013. Microsoft PowerPoint file formats supported are .ppt and .pptx. Microsoft Excel file formats supported are .xls and .xlsx.

Audio and video formats

Advanced Audio Coding formats supported are AAC (from 8 to 320 Kbps) and protected AAC. The High-Efficiency version of the AAC format, HE-AAC, is also supported. In terms of MP3 files, 8 to 320 Kbps formats and MP3 VBR, the variable bitrate version of MP3, are supported. Further audio file formats covered are Audible, AAX and AAX+, Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV. Video formats supported include H.264 video up to 1080p and 30 frames per second (fps). MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps is also supported. Apple’s famous MOV file format is supported, as are M4V and MP4. Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps at 1280 x 720 pixels and 30 fps is also given support.


The iPad supports .key files, which are associated with the Keynote application. This is Apple’s presentation creation software. Numbers, Apple’s spreadsheet application works with .numbers files and these are also supported by the iPad. Likewise, Apple’s word processing application Pages works with .pages files and these are supported too. PDF files, as used by Preview and Adobe Acrobat, are supported. Plain text files are supported via the .txt format. Rich text format files, .rtf, are also supported. In terms of contact information, .vcf files are supported.

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