List includes Top
50 File Extensions And Associated Programs
This is a file extension list of some of the more popular program extensions as
well as the applications that are most commonly used to view or edit
Short notes are also
included regarding any other methods that can be used to view or preview the
content of the files before fully opening them. While this list is not a
complete list of every single extension type available it is an extensive list
that includes the vast majority of popular extension types that you are most
likely to come across.
prevents indexing of files, folders or pages that you do not wish to be indexed.
The METAINDEX_NEVER_OPEN command line is associated with the Macintosh operating
system. Time and time again the metadata_never_index command is improperly used
and placed in a directory, a folder or on a page that people do in fact want to
The most common instance of the .doc file extension is Microsoft Office Word
documents. Word is the word processor that is included in the Office suite of
tools. A number of programs can be used to view and even edit .doc documents. As
well as Word itself, there are third party Microsoft viewers and some free and
open source word processors will also enable you to edit all contents of the
document in the same way as you would using Word itself.
Files with the extension of .log are, unsurprisingly, log files. These are used
by various different applications and the name of the file is usually indicative
of exactly which application created the log. It may be possible to view the
contents of the log file using any standard text editor or you can use the
application that it is associated with.
These are email messages created by any of a number of email applications. Most
commonly .msg messages are associated with Microsoft Exchange Server. Some
Microsoft viewing applications may enable you to view the contents of the file
but you will typically need the original application in order to edit its
An RTF file is a Rich Text Format file and is one of the more common types of
basic text file. These are also used as Microsoft help files and viewing is
possible using any application that enables you to view text files. This
includes Microsoft Word or any text editor.
A txt file is a basic text file used by a lot of applications in a lot of
circumstances. In order to view and edit a file with a .txt extension users can
use Microsoft Word or any application deemed to be a standard text editor.
There are a number of possibilities with regards to .wpd files. The 602PC Office
Suite, an alternative to the Microsoft Office suite, uses .wpd as an extension
for any documents created with any of the four applications. A wpd file may also
be an ACT Word Processing Document, a Window Works Document, or a Windows
Printer Driver. The location of the file should be indicative of which is most
likely to be the case.
The most likely instance of a wps file is
as a Works Text Document. More recent versions of Microsoft Word will open some
Works documents. If this is not the case for you then you may need to use a
converter that will convert the .wps file into a .doc or other word processor
A .123 file is a document created by the
Lotus 1-2-3 Spreadsheet application. The application is no longer supported but
some people do still use this spreadsheet. If you can not obtain a copy of this
spreadsheet application then you may want to consider using a conversion tool.
A csv file, shor tfor Comma Seperated
Variables and also referred to as a Comma Delimited File, is essentially a
database of information that consists of individual records separated on
individual lines and each record separated by a comma. While many people
consider this to be an Excel format it is not actually associated with Microsoft
except that Excel is the most common application used in order to open .csv
files. Typically, though, a .csv file can be opened using any spreadsheet or
word processor document.
This extension is used by a lot of
different applications that are quite different in their use and architecture.
As such, finding the appropriate one is essential for opening these files. One
common use of the .dat extension is for Internet cache files.
The .db extension is an extension used by
many database applications or to signify that the file is a database required by
an application. Some of the more common applications to open and edit .db files
include the Oracle database, Windows ThumbNail Database, ArcView Object
Database, and Progress Database.
However, it may also have been created by the Microsoft Works database
application. These applications are quite different in many aspects and, as
such, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to open the file unless you
have the appropriate database application installed.
A dll or Dynamic Link Library is a short
script or command that is stored within the library of your system. Whenever an
application requires the use of this command it is called and the feature or
action that it is associated with is performed. As such there is a large number
of dll files to be found within computers running certain versions of Windows
and, unless the file is found to be damaged, broken, or false, it should be left
to run as is.
An mdb file is a Microsoft Access Database
file that can be viewed using Access itself as well as Microsoft Viewers.
Alternatively, if you need to edit the file, then you should use the Microsoft
Access application or another application that supports and recognizes Access
database file structures.
The most likely instance of a pps file is
a PowerPoint Slide Show. This type of file requires either the use of Microsoft
PowerPoint or a similar application that recognizes the same file types (the
open source Open Office is a commonly used application).
A ppt file is usually a PowerPoint
Presentation. As well as being able to use Microsoft PowerPoint to view and edit
these files it is also possible to use other applications such as Open Office
that offer Microsoft compatibility.
SQL, or Structured Query Language Data, is
a query based database. A number of different applications can be used to alter
SQL databases. While SQL databases are commonly used for containing data online
they are one of the oldest used types of database available.
A wks file is a spreadsheet file that may
have been created either by Lotus 1-2-3 or by Works for Windows. Excel by
Microsoft will open and save to the 1-2-3 version of this file and also in
versions of Works 2.0 and earlier. If you need to open a .wks file then Excel is
likely to be your best bet to opening and editing the file.
An xls file is a spreadsheet or worksheet
created by either of Microsoft's Excel or Works spreadsheet applications. The
Microsoft Viewer can be used to view the file if it is an Excel spreadsheet,
otherwise it is possible to use the Excel application or any other compatible
spreadsheet application to view and edit these files. With Works for Windows xls
files it is necessary to have a relevant version of Works installed on your
The xml, or extensible Mark-up Language,
file is a general markup language page most commonly associated with web
programming. Specifically it was designed as a standard to replace html although
html does remain more popular than its replacement. Xml files can be opened
using any standard text editor and most word processor applications.
.3dm are 3D model files that could have been created using one of several
different 3D modeling applications. There are several such applications
including Cadent, IN3D, QuickDraw, and Rhine 3D. Typically, any of these
applications can be used to open, view, and edit 3dm files.
A 3dmf file is a QuickDraw meta file. QuickDraw is a 3D modeling application
produced by Apple Computer Inc. The QuickDraw application is required to edit
this type of file, however, there is also a 3DMF viewer that can be used to
quickly view or preview the file to determine whether it is a necessary file and
whether you need to obtain a copy of QuickDraw.
Among the several known and recorded instances of .ai files is a vector graphic
file created by the Adobe Illustrator application. These files can only be
edited using the Illustrator application, however, XnView is a third party
application that enables users to view or preview the contents of the file.
Doing so will enable you to determine whether the file is necessary and
required, and whether you need to install Illustrator in order to properly edit
and amend the file.
the .bmp file extension is one of the most common graphic file extensions.
Bitmap graphics files are created and used by a huge number of different
applications, each editor being able to open a .bmp file and edit its contents.
As such, it is possible to use virtually any image editing software in order to
view or edit a .bmp file you may have received.
It is highly likely that the .drw file you have received is a graphics file and
is most commonly associated with a large number of graphics editing and creation
applications. Any of these applications can be used to create, view, or edit
these files. If you have any graphics applications already installed on your
computer then you should attempt to use this application first in order to open
There are two likely uses of the .eps file extension, both of which are types of
graphics files. One is a vector graphics file and can be opened with any working
vector graphics editor such as Adobe Illustrator. The other is a photo file
which can, again, be opened by applications like Illustrator for complete
editing and viewing of the file.
a gif, short for graphics interchange format that is used by a lot of programs
and applications as well as displayed in a number of different publications. The
good news with this file type is that it can also be opened and edited using a
wide range of graphics software such as the GIMP, which is an open source
application. There are also free viewers that can be used to view the contents
of the file although do not allow for any editing of the file.
A indd file is a document created by Adobe InDesign CS3. This is a design
application that is used to create good looking documents and publish them to
any of a number of different media formats. This is the only application that
can be used to view and edit .indd files so it will be necessary to purchase and
install a version of this software to view the file. A free trial of the
software is currently available on the Adobe website providing a means to view
files created with this software.
Extension .jpeg and File Extension .jpg
JPEG files are most commonly used for digital photograph files and also for
publishing images to the Internet. The file type is not ideal for directly
opening, editing, and resaving files and instead should be opened as a different
file type and then saved as a jpeg file type for publishing the file. .jpeg
files can, however, be opened and edited with a variety of graphics editing
applications and viewed using even more applications.
MNG is short for Multi-Image Network Graphic Animation and is actually a
collection of individual visual PNG components. It may also be an Animation
created using the Animation Shop software published by Corel. Some viewers may
be able to view or preview these files but you will need the appropriate
application in order to fully edit them.
A PDF file, short for Portable Document Format, can be viewed using the free
Adobe viewer on the Adobe website. There are other PDF viewers also available on
the Internet; a number of these applications can be freely downloaded and used
in order to view any PDF files. Virtually any file can be converted into a PDF
file but PDF editing software will be required to alter the contents of the
A .PS file is a type of Page Description Language. It is similar in use to PDF
and is also created by Adobe. A .PS file is essentially an image of a document
and, as such, it can typically be viewed by image viewing software. There are a
number of free applications, such as XNView, that can open and view these files.
The file format .psd belongs to graphics files that are created using the Adobe
Photoshop application. As well as being able to open them using the Photoshop
program it is also possible to use one of many different standard image editors.
The .psd file type is so popular because as well as being compatible with
Windows computers they can also be read by Macintosh based PCs.
A .psp file type is a graphics file created by the popular Paint Shop Pro
application from Corel. Even though this file type is specifically created with
this application, psp files can be read using a number of free and commercial
image editing applications. If you only need to view the file, rather than edit
it's content, then you can use an image viewer instead.
Extension .qxd and .File Extension qxp
.qxd files are desktop publishing files created by version 5 or earlier of the
popular QuarkXpress application. Users require the QuarkXpress application to
view or edit these proprietary file types. The .qxp file type is also created by
QuarkXpress and also requires the QuarkXpress application to edit these files.
TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format and is a graphics file. It is one of
the more popular file types for archiving images because it requires very little
space to save a reasonable version of an image. .tif files can be viewed using a
huge range of different image viewing applications including the Windows Picture
and Fax viewer, which comes as standard with the Windows XP operating system.
An mp3 file is a compressed audio file that has become particularly popular in
recent years because of its compatibility with personal audio equipment,
computer equipment, and other stereo equipment. Although it depends largely on
the bit rate of the file mp3 tracks are typically almost as high in quality as
The .wav file type is a high quality, but consequently large, audio file type.
Short for WAVE file the wav file type is commonly used to save audio of a CD
quality. The only real drawback of the .wav file is the size of the saved file
when compared to other formats, such as mp3. Microsoft Media Player and any
other media player will open and play .wav files with no problems.
The .wma file type, or Windows Media Audio file, is a proprietary file type that
is similar to other audio files but has been compressed using Windows
compression techniques. The Windows Media Player and a small selection of MP3
players can open and play wma files, but the iPod and even other popular
personal audio players do not play this file type.
An .asf, or Advanced Streaming Format, file is a file that creates audio and/or
video compressed with codecs. Many media players and similar applications can
read these file types. Users should attempt to use any media player they have
installed in order to open this file. Typically, Windows Media Player is a good
.avi is a well used and easily read file type. Short for Audio Video Interleave
it is an audio or video file that has been compressed with third party codecs.
Many media players can open and play these files including Windows Media Player
so playback should not cause any difficulty in the majority of cases.
The .mov file type is, most typically, a QuickTime movie file. Usually these are
relatively short movie clips designed for ease, speed, and a shorter file size.
Files can be viewed using any of an array of media players including Windows
Media Player. Other free media players can also be used to play .mov clips.
.mp4 files are movie files that can typically be played using a wide variety of
different media players, although it may be necessary to down load the
appropriate Codecs from the media player website. Windows Media Player, as well
as various other freely available media players can be used for mpeg-4 playback.
An mpg file can be video, audio, or animated clips. Playable with any media
player it may be necessary with some players to download the necessary Codecs
from the software manufacturer's website. As well as Windows Media Player there
are various free and commercial media players that can be used to play this type
.swf files are flash files and can range from small buttons on websites to large
animations. More and more websites are using flash animation to help liven up
otherwise lifeless pages, and as Internet connections become quicker and the
technology behind the use of the Internet becomes more complex it is
increasingly likely that more web pages will introduce at least a small amount
of flash elements. .swf files can be viewed in most browsers or using Flash
software and Flash file viewers.
The wmv file type, short for Windows Media Video, is a high quality video format
that can be viewed using a good range of media players. The Windows Media Player
is the most obvious and accessible option for viewing these files.
The .fnt file type, although mostly replaced by ttf and otf files, is a font
file. These files are used by Microsoft Windows and can contain a single true
type or vector font. The fonts can be edited using font editing software such as
Vsoft and can be viewed using Microsoft applications such as Word.
A .exe file is an executable or program file. These file types are not usually
associated with any application and double clicking or opening the file will
usually cause the application itself to run. .exe files can also be called by
other applications in order to perform specific tasks.
A .ws file is a Windows Script file. Usually this type of file contains Jscript,
and other scripting elenents including XML. Some care should always be taken
when opening .ws files because they can contain viruses and malicious code.
Special care should be taken if you receive a ws file as an email attachment or
via messenger or file download.
.rar files are compressed files, or groups of files, that have been compressed
using RAR compression. RAR is a more powerful and more effective method of
compression when compared to ZIP compression. WinRAR can be used to zip and
unzip RAR files on Microsoft Windows computers, while Mac and Windows users can
use the Stuffit Expander suite.
Despite being less powerful than RAR compression, ZIP compression remains the
most popular form of compressing files and folders. A .zip file is the result of
this compression and can be opened or created using the majority of compression
utilities including WinZip and Stuffit.
Continue to the next section titled
Unknown File Types