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

APP file extension

Mac OS X Application

Executable Files

ASX file extension

Microsoft ASF Redirector File

Video Files

FLV file extension

Flash Video File

Video Files

GADGET file extension

Windows Gadget

Executable Files

GBR file extension

Gerber File

Data Files

ICS file extension

iCalendar File

Misc Files

INDD file extension

Adobe InDesign Document

Layout Files

LNK file extension

Windows File Shortcut

System Files

M file extension

Objective-C Implementation File

Developer Files

PAGES file extension

Pages Document

Text Files

PY file extension

Python Script

Developer Files

RSS file extension

Rich Site Summary

Web Files

SRT file extension

SubRip Subtitle File

Video Files

SVG file extension

Scalable Vector Graphics File

Vector Image Files

3G2 file extension

3GPP2 Multimedia File

Video Files