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To verify that a file matches a formal specification.

A valid file obeys all the rules of the specification. This guarantees that it can be used by any program that also properly follows that specification.

A file that is not valid may cause a program reading it to reject the file, or might even crash the program or device.

For example, EPUB e-books are validated to ensure they match the EPUB standard. A valid EPUB can be read on any EPUB-compatible device.

Also see: QA, field testing.