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

AIF file extension

Audio Interchange File Format

Audio Files

C file extension

C/C++ Source Code File

Developer Files

CPP file extension

C++ Source Code File

Developer Files

INDD file extension

Adobe InDesign Document

Layout Files

JSP file extension

Java Server Page

Web Files

M file extension

Objective-C Implementation File

Developer Files

MP3 file extension

MP3 Audio File

Audio Files

MPA file extension

MPEG-2 Audio File

Audio Files

PDF file extension

Portable Document Format File

Layout Files

PNG file extension

Portable Network Graphic

Raster Image Files

PS file extension

PostScript File

Vector Image Files

TTF file extension

TrueType Font

Font Files

WPS file extension

Microsoft Works Word Processor Document

Text Files

3DM file extension

Rhino 3D Model

3D Image Files

3G2 file extension

3GPP2 Multimedia File

Video Files