Find computer file extensions
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Computer file extensions (or file types,
formats, or suffixes as
they are sometimes referred to) are those odd characters that follow
the name of the file (e.g. myfile.doc where doc is the
extension). Most file extensions that the average person runs into
are either 3 or 4 letters but there are file types that have fewer
characters and also use numbers.
It is possible that when you look
at a file, you may not see the extension, but rest assured that they
are there anyway. If you can't see the extension, your computer
is set to hide them. You can elect to see them but unless you
have a reason to do so, you are potentially a little safer.
You probably know by now that you
cannot open any file with any program that you desire. File
extensions are used by your computer to identify how the file is to
be used and what programs can be used to open them. For
example, when your computer sees a .doc extension, it knows that it
is a file that must be opened by Microsoft Word.
extensions such as .exe are what is referred to as an executable or
program and there are instructions in the program that will tell
your computer what to do.
Occasionally, you may see a file
extension that your PC doesn't know. In that case, if you were
to double click on that file, your PC will open up a dialog box and
ask you to choose a program to open it.
Warning - if you are
presented with this option and you don't know what you are doing,
it is better to hit cancel and leave it alone than to open
it. You could do damage to your computer.
If you do know what the extension
is, our BIG LIST will help you by giving a brief explanation of the
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