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Which one is valid:

A date field should be in a form 'MM/DD/YYYY'.


A date field should be of a form 'MM/DD/YYYY'.

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Try "in the form" ... – Robusto Jan 24 '13 at 13:31
As in the question title, you probably want format rather than form. – coleopterist Jan 24 '13 at 13:53
If you use "format", I'd put it after the format you want: "in 'MM/DD/YYYY' format". – user21497 Jan 24 '13 at 14:42
@coleopterist Apparently, OP did not want to use the technical term format for obvious reasons. Form is acceptable as an alternative when addressing a lay reader. – Kris Jan 24 '13 at 14:52
up vote 2 down vote accepted

in the format is the general expression used in the context.

The definite article the will be needed.

A date field should be in the form 'MM/DD/YYYY'.

The alternate preposition of is acceptable in a similar way.

A date field should be of the form 'MM/DD/YYYY'.

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