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File extension - what is it?


The file extension is a certain part of the full name of the file. It includes information about the manner and type of data stored in it. This is usually a combination of several characters appearing after the last dot in the file name displayed on screen. Thanks to these characters, we can find out what program supports a given file.


Displaying file extensions

However, file extensions are not always displayed at the file name. Sometimes a computer hides their names. This setting can be edited in the Windows Control Panel, under "Appearance and Personalization" and then "Folder Options".

Common problems with file extensions.

File associationThe most common cause of the problem with opening the file is its incorrect association with the program in the registry. This means that the operating system did not assign to a specific file extension any program that supports it. This setting can easily be edited in the Windows registry.

However, most often there is simply the lack of the appropriate software installed on our device. Then it is sufficient just to download the appropriate program for a given type of the file and install it. You will find the list of programs corresponding to the file extensions on our site FileRegistry.org

Additional advice

If the file has been saved in a format not readable by the dedicated software, in order to open it, one should perform the conversion. For this purpose, a special program should be used that has a converter that easily makes changes to the file format to be read.


Examples:
.XLS file extension - The full name of the file: Excel Spreadsheet

Programs using this file extension
  • Microsoft Excel 2011
  • OpenOffice.org
  • Planamesa NeoOffice

.GZ file extension - The full name of the file: Gnu Zipped Archive

Programs using this file extension
  • Smith Micro StuffIt Deluxe 2011
  • Dare to be Creative Archiver
  • Apple Archive Utility

.H file extension - The full name of the file: C/C++/Objective-C Header File

Programs using this file extension
  • Apple Xcode
  • Code::Blocks
  • Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers