File Extensions:
A Guide for Windows

What they mean and how to use them

© 2000 Walt Howe
(last updated July 18, 1998)

The following table shows you many of the different file extensions you may encounter as you explore the web and the Internet. Wherever possible, we have listed software to use with the file extension. It may not be the latest or best software for the purpose, but if listed, we know it works.

Another source of extension information is Netscape's Application tables, which list many extensions and the application that Netscape uses to handle them.



ExtensionTypebin or
ascii
Software you need for Windows
386 Windows 386 Enhanced Mode DriverbinWindows
ad Afterdark Screen Saver File bin After Dark
aif, aiffAudio Interchange File FormatbinBeatnik
ans MS-DOS ANSI Filebin 
arc Pkarc Compressed Filebin pk361.exe
arjARJ compressionbin arj241.exe
ascASCII text fileasciiAny editor/word processor
auAudio filebinNetscape mplayer.exe
awdFax filebinfaxview.exe (in Win 95)
bak Backup FileeitherMany possibilities
b64Base64 MIME encoded fileascii WinCode
bat Batch Fileasciimsdos, Windows
binMac executable et albinMac
bmp Windows Bitmap Graphic FilebinWindows
btm Norton NDOS Batch to Memory File?NDOS
cdr Corel Draw Graphic FilebinCorel Draw
cfg Configuration filebinMany possibilities
cfm Corel FontMasterbinfontmstr.exe
cgm Computer Graphics Metafilebin 
clp Windows - ClipboardbinWindows
com Executable Program Filebinmsdos, Windows
cur Windows Cursor Filebin 
cut Dr. Halo Graphic Filebin 
dbf Dbase Database Fileusually
ascii
Dbase, other db programs
dcr ShockWave FilebinMacromedia Shockwave
dde Dynamic Data Exchangebin 
dib Windows Graphic Filebin 
dll Windows Dynamic Library LinkbinWindows
doc Word processing Document Fileusually
bin
Word, many others
drv Windows Device DriverbinWindows
drw Micrografx Designer Graphic FilebinMicrografx Designer
eps Encapsulated Postscript Graphic FilebinCorel et al
exe Executable Program Filebinmsdos or windows.
fli Autodesk Animation Filebin 
fon Font FilebinWindows
fot Windows True Type Font ( Styles File )binWindows
gif Compuserve Graphic Filebin Lview Pro and many others
grp Windows Group FilebinWindows
gzGnu unix compressionbin WinZip
hlp Program on-line Help Filebin?Windows
htm, html Hyper Text Markup Language fileascii A graphical web browser
hqxBinhex
(Mac ascii encoded file)
ascii binhex.exe
xbin23.zip
icn Windows Icon FilebinWindows
ico Windows Icon FilebinWindows
iff Amiga Graphic Filebin 
img GEM Paint Graphic Filebin 
inf Windows Hardware Info Filebin? 
ini Program Information Fileascii 
jas JAS Compressed Graphic Filebin 
jpg, jpeg JPEG Compressed Graphic Filebin Lview Pro and many others
latex ascii 
lbm Deluxe Paint Graphic Filebin 
lzhLHarcbin lha213.exe
mac Mac Paint Graphic Filebin  
mdbMS Access Database Filebin Microsoft Access
mid MIDI Sound FilebinNetscape mplayer.exe, Crescendo
mod Modulated Sound Filebin 
movQuick-Time Moviebin qtw11.zip
mozNetscape temp saveeitherNetscape
mp2, mp3Mpeg AudiobinCineWeb
mpg, mpegMpeg video filebinMpeg
msp Microsoft Paint Graphic Filebin 
ndx Dbase Index Fileascii? 
ovl Program Overlaybin 
pal Graphic Palette Filebin 
pcd Kodak Photo CDbin 
pcx Zsoft Paintbrush Graphic Filebin 
pic PC Paintbrush Graphic Filebin 
pif Windows Program Information Filebin?Windows
plPerl scriptascii 
pm5 Pagemaker 5 Publication FilebinPagemaker
psPostscript fileasciiPostscript printer
or
Ghostscript
pub Desktop Publishing Graphic Filebin 
raRealAudio filebinRealAudio
ras Sun Raster Images Graphic Filebin 
rd3, rd4, rd5Ray Dream Designer graphicsbin Ray Dream Designer or Corel 6 or later
reg Windows Registration File ( OLE )bin? 
rle Compuserve & Windows Graphic Fileascii 
sav Backup Fileeither 
seaSelf-Extracting Archive for Macbina Macintosh computer
sh ? 
shar Shell Archivebin? 
snd Generic Sound Filebin 
sys Device Driver System Filebin 
tar unix archivebintar.exe
or
WinZip
taZtar.Z file--both archived and compressed in unixbin tarz.exe
or
WinZip
texMathematical word processing format (ascii)ascii 
tga Truevision Targa Graphic Filebin 
tif Tagged Image File (Graphic)bin 
tmp Temporary Fileeither 
ttf Windows True Type Font ( Font File )bin 
txt MS-DOS ASCII Text FileasciiAlmost anything
uueUuencoded file (encoded ascii)ascii wncod261.exe
voc bin 
voxVox audiobinToolVox
vxdWindows virtual device driverbin 
wav Windows Sound FilebinWindows
wfn Windows 3.0 Font Filebin 
wk1, etc. Lotus Worksheet File - WK1 thru WK9bin 
wks Lotus Worksheet Filebin 
wmf Windows Meta Filebin 
wpg Wordperfect Graphic FilebinWordPerfect
DrawPerfect
Perfect Presentations
wq1 Quattro Pro Spreadsheet FilebinQuattro Pro
xls Microsoft Excel Worksheet FilebinExcel
Other spreadsheets
xxeXxencoded file (encoded ascii)ascii wncod261.exe
ZUnix compressionbin WinZip
zpack, sometimes gnu zipbinTry WinZip
zip Pkzip Compressed Filebin pkzip.exe (v. 2.04),
WinZip
zoozoo compressionbin zoo210.exe

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