1.3.7 Byte Ordering

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Some computer architectures number bytes in a binary word from left to right, which is referred to as big-endian. The bit diagram for this documentation is big-endian. Other architectures number the bytes in a binary word from right to left, which is referred to as little-endian. The underlying file format enumerations, objects, and records are little-endian.

Using big-endian and little-endian methods, the number 0x12345678 would be stored as shown in the following table.

Byte order

Byte 0

Byte 1

Byte 2

Byte 3

Big-endian

0x12

0x34

0x56

0x78

Little-endian

0x78

0x56

0x34

0x12

Unless otherwise specified, all data in the Word Binary File Format is stored in little-endian format.

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