What is a File Extension and File Type

What is File Extension

A file extension or File name extension is a file type that determines what kind of information and syntax stored in the files, basically ends with a small phase, letter or number after the period (.) symbol of a file. Such as, example.txt is a file named for example and the file extension of this file is .txt. This file contains plain text information written in the system supported character set such as Unicode.

If your system has already installed the required software vendors for the file type. Then to run and open the file simply double-click on the file. It should be opened. By default, most of the operating system support .txt file extension. But there are thousands of file name extension available that open with the corresponding software program.

Every file you see on a digital device that is handled by the program must have file name extension in order to run. Think of an mp3 player generally, you will listen to music on it. But in order to listen to songs on an mp3 player, you must have the supported audio file format such as .mp3 file extension. It needs specific file format because it is an embedded system that operated by the program more specifically computer program. You may try to find a specific file extension for a file on your computer. But by default, on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS does not show the file type extension. 

Heres guide on How to show file type extension in Windows and Mac OS computer

Run a file with another Program

When you double-click on a file from your computer, the file will be open if a program already installed on your system that can run the file. If your system has installed more than one program that supports same file extension. when you double-click on the file the file will be open with a particular program but you want to open the file with the other program. In this case, you can click the right mouse button And then choose the option open with and then select the program. To know more about how to change the default program for a particular extension to be opened see:

  • How to change the default Program for a file extension on Windows
  • How to change the default program for a file extension on Mac OS

Common File Extension

Here the most common file extension given below that are used in your computer and over the internet frequently.

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