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Figure Out That File Extension

Guest Poster


Today, 40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Keith from Computer Repair Vancouver.

File extensions have become a mainstay in the current computing landscape. Those two or three letter codes that follow a file name allow you as well as your operating system to determine what type of file is being dealt with as well as which programs should be used to deal with it.

Common File Extensions

Now most file formats you come across in your time online will be familiar. After all, de-facto standards have become commonplace for nearly every type of file. For example:

Common image types include: jpg, gif, and png.

Common audio/music types include: mp3, wav, and aiff.

Common video types include: mpg, avi, and wmv.

Common text document types include: doc, docx, and txt.

Common web-page document types include: htm, html, and xhtml

The problem is: every once in a while you will run across a file whose origins you are unsure of. Perhaps this file was created within a commercial application you have never used before (hence, you have never heard of this particular file extension). Or perhaps you are simply unaware of the file types used in a particular realm of the computing world.

FILExt – the File Extension Repository


When you do happen to run across a stubborn file type, one of the best ways to solve the conundrum is by visiting FILExt – a free online file-type search engine. Let’s say, for illustrative purposes, that I have downloaded a doc file; however, I am unsure what type of file it is or what programs I would need to use in order to deal with it? How, would I go about finding the appropriate answers to my questions?

1.) Head over to FILExt.

2) Enter the file extension information in the search box located in the top right corner of the webpage (in our case – doc) and hit the enter key.

3) Scroll down to the middle/bottom of the page. It is here that we would find that a doc file is, in fact, a Word file (created by Microsoft). Furthermore, under the related links section, we would find which programs can deal with doc files – Free Microsoft Viewer, Jarte Word Process, Open Office, TextMaker viewer, and Zoho Viewer.

It’s really that easy! So next time you are having trouble determine what type of file you are dealing with, or as is often the case you need to find a program to open this type of file, head over to FILExt.

BIO: Keith, through his blog Computer Repair Vancouver, discusses a range of technical support issues including how to deal with computer file extensions.