File extensions – definition and basic information

File extensions are the integral parts of the files that are on each computer. Often, when working on a computer, we encounter a wide range of files, such as docx, ppt, part, mp3 or rmvb. We realize that they are there – but we often do not know what they are for on our computer.

File extension, also known as the filename extension is a suffix added to the name of a computer file, usually consisting of a number of characters placed after the last dot in the filename, which gives us information about its coding. In other words a file extension is a file format. It allows the operating system (e.g. Windows) to recognize what program it should try to open the file.

In the table below you will find a random selection of popular file extensions.

File extension The full name of the file Category

ASPX file extension

Active Server Page Extended File

Web Files

DOCX file extension

Microsoft Word Open XML Document

Text Files

M4A file extension

MPEG-4 Audio File

Audio Files

MOBI file extension

Mobipocket eBook

eBook Files

MP3 file extension

MP3 Audio File

Audio Files

PART file extension

Partially Downloaded File

Misc Files

PKG file extension

Mac OS X Installer Package

Compressed Files

PL file extension

Perl Script

Developer Files

RA file extension

Real Audio File

Audio Files

RTF file extension

Rich Text Format File

Text Files

SRT file extension

SubRip Subtitle File

Video Files

TIF file extension

Tagged Image File

Raster Image Files

TMP file extension

Temporary File

Backup Files

WAV file extension

WAVE Audio File

Audio Files

WMV file extension

Windows Media Video File

Video Files