File Formats or File Extensions

There are several File formats or known as extensions. But why we need them? Or for different files there are different formats as for image we jpg, png, gif etc. but why we have them?

Every format has different specifications and perticular properties through which we manage Data and information into devices and work in various softwares.

Every software has its own file saving formats for their files.

We have few commonly used formats as follows:

.txt- Text Document

.rtf- Rich Text File

.doc- Word Document

.xls- Excel Sheet

.ppt- PowerPoint presentation

.pdf- Portable Document Format

.jpg / .jpeg- Joint Photography Experts Group

.png- Portable Network Graphics

.bmp- Bitmap Image

.gif- Graphics Interchange Format

.wav- Waveform Audio File

.mp3- Music Player Version 3

.exe- Executable File

.msi- Microsoft Installer

.zip- Compressed File

.dll- Dynamic Link Library

.xml- Extensible Markup Language

.html- Hypertext Markup Language

A file extension (or simply “extension”) is the suffix at the end of a filename that indicates what type of file it is. For example, in the filename “myreport.txt,” the .TXT is the file extension. It indicates the file is a text document. Some other examples include .DOCX, which is used for Microsoft Word documents, and .PSD, which is the standard file extension for Photoshop documents.

While most file extensions are three characters in length, they can be as short as one character or longer than twenty characters. Sometimes long file extensions are used to more clearly identify the file type. For example, the .TAX2015 file extension is used to identify TurboTax 2015 tax returns and the .DESKTHEMEPACK extension identifies Windows 8 desktop themes. The file extension determines which program is used to open the file as well as what icon should be displayed for the file. It also helps you see what kind of file a certain document is by just looking at the filename.

Both Windows and Mac OS X allow you to manually change file extensions, which may also change the program the computer uses to open the file. While this might work for some files, it may also cause the file to not open at all. For example, if you change a file with a “.txt” extension to a “.doc” extension, Microsoft Word may still open it. However, if you change a “.txt” file to a “.psd” file, Photoshop will not recognize or open the file.

Since there are tens of thousands of file types, there are also tens of thousands of file extensions.


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