The Gerber file format is the de facto standard for printed circuit board (PCB) design data transfer, called the backbone of the electronics fabrication industry. All PCB design systems output Gerber files and all PCB fabrication software can handle them, enabling PCB professionals to exchange PCB design data securely and efficiently.
Gerber files represent copper layers, solder mask, legend, and drill and route data. Attributes provide meta-information about these images, such as whether a graphics object is and SMD pad, a via pad or a fiducial, or net names of connections. The Gerber file format is simple, compact and unequivocal. Thanks to its use of printable 7-bit ASCII characters, it is portable, human-readable and easy to debug. Implementations are thoroughly field-tested and debugged.
The Gerber job file allows to transfer PCB fabrication characteristics, such as thickness or finish, in a standardized format. See Gerber Job Format.