Which is correct?

Please submit your ideas in text form.

Please submit your ideas in text format.

Format looks like it's derived from form, so what is the difference between these two words?

I consulted a dictionary, but the definitions look somewhat similar to me — both seem to refer to the way things are organised / configured / presented.

I'm not asking for writing advice or suggestions to rephrase or substitute words, I'm simply curious about the difference between the two words.

  • Do you mean 'Word format', as in the software program published by Microsoft? – John Feltz Aug 9 '18 at 16:55
  • @JohnFeltz I meant the use of actual words, instead of pictures / audios etc. – light Aug 9 '18 at 17:05
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    Seeing your comment, I'd say "in written form". – John Feltz Aug 9 '18 at 17:10
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    - well, here's how things stacked up before format took off in relation to computer data file formats. – FumbleFingers Aug 9 '18 at 17:10
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    What about saying "Please submit your ideas in writing"? – bookmanu Aug 9 '18 at 17:15

'Form' has a general reference than 'format.' That said, I should add that format means the extension, ie: Pdf, ogg, MP4, doc, exe, etc. But 'form' constitutes the whole part of the file being presented in a particular manner. Form is the difference between a spreadsheet and a word document, but they both can have the same 'format:' pdf. It's commonsense.

  • Your assertion that form refers to the file extension lacks support. – Lawrence Aug 10 '18 at 4:34

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