The Presentation layer is primarily responsible for data representation and formatting, ensuring that data can be viewed correctly. These formats are sometimes referred to as the “data syntax” of the applications in use. For example, different systems may use different schemes to represent data. While one system might use ASCII or EBCIDC, another might use UNICODE. Since these schemes contain different character possibilities, it is the responsibility of the Presentation layer to make sure they are displayed in the correct or common format between the client and the server. Further to this, the Presentation layer is also where data compression and encryption are generally considered to take place.
Examples of common Presentation layer formats:
- ASCII, EBCIDC, UNICODE, RTF: Text encoding formats
- MPEG, AVI, QuickTime: Video encoding formats
- JPEG, PNG, TIFF: Graphics formats
- MIDI: Sound format