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

ASX file extension

Microsoft ASF Redirector File

Video Files

BAT file extension

DOS Batch File

Executable Files

CGI file extension

Common Gateway Interface Script

Executable Files

CPL file extension

Windows Control Panel Item

System Files

CSR file extension

Certificate Signing Request File

Web Files

IBOOKS file extension

Multi-Touch iBook

Data Files

ICNS file extension

Mac OS X Icon Resource File

System Files

JAR file extension

Java Archive File

Executable Files

MDF file extension

Media Disc Image File

Disk Image Files

PPTX file extension

PowerPoint Open XML Presentation

Data Files

RTF file extension

Rich Text Format File

Text Files

SDF file extension

Standard Data File

Data Files

TAX2012 file extension

TurboTax 2012 Tax Return

Data Files

WMV file extension

Windows Media Video File

Video Files

YUV file extension

YUV Encoded Image File

Raster Image Files