File Extensions – What Are They And What Do They Mean?

When a person initially begins to use a computer, he may notice that the end of some files contains special symbols. The final letters following the dot usually indicate the file format. Due to its extension, applications could more surely access the desired file. The OS uses extensions of files to define which software is associated with which doc type – particularly, what app should be used to display it when you double-click a file. For instance, a file with the name “nature.jpg” has the “jpg” extension. When you launch this file in Windows, the OS searches for any program associated with JPGs, launches it, and displays the image.

What Are The Most Common File Formats?

Before changing the file type, you must first grasp how the document format differs from the extension. The format is the file’s content, and the extension is just a string of letters explaining to the system which application should open the file.

There are just too many file extensions to include in this article. People may utilize file converters like CoolUtils to convert documents online from one format to another. Here are a few examples of common file extensions you may see on your computer:

Text Formats

They are most often created using word processors. The most common text formats are:

  • single-program formats (Microsoft Word, WordPerfect), which have extensions of the program where they are created;
  • the RTF format, which is supported by various software programs and preserves the specified text formatting;
  • PDF (Portable Document Format), which contains an image of a page that includes text and graphics. PDF files can be read by various read-only programs, but are created only by Adobe Acrobat.

The PDF format, created by Adobe Systems Inc., is very popular when exchanging documents and is widely used for documents on the Internet because it allows you to preserve the original appearance of documents and makes it difficult to make changes. Adobe estimates that half a billion people have downloaded its free PDF viewer, many businesses have chosen this format as the standard for document transfer and storage.

Graphic Formats

They store images categorized into two types::

  • vector formats that store images as a set of geometric shapes. Among them, the most common are: the DXF format (Drawing Interchange Format), which is widely used by engineers and architects in computer design programs; EPS (Encapsulated PostScript), which is widely used in desktop publishing systems; CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) is widely used in many graphic editors (for example, in the Photoshop editor);
  • bitmap formats, which store the image as a set of pixel points. When changing the scale of the image, the bitmap receives distortion. Among the raster formats, the most common are: BMP is a relatively low-quality format that is most often used in word processors; TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), widely used in many software applications; GIF, which is widely used in programs intended for the Internet.

Video And Audio Formats

These formats contain moving images (digital video, animation) and sound data, which are most often created and viewed using appropriate programs and stored in a single program format. The most used formats are QuickTime and MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group).

File Extensions – What Are They And What Do They Mean

Spreadsheet Formats

Spreadsheet files store numbers and relationships between these numbers in cells. One cell can contain a formula that summarizes the data of two other cells. Like database files, spreadsheet files usually follow the format of the program from which they were created. Some programs can import and export data from other sources, including programs designed for such data exchange (for example, Data Interchange Format). Spreadsheet files can be converted to text files, but the values ​​and relationships between numbers will be lost.

In Conclusion

The main issue that arises in regard to the formats of electronic documents is the issue of conversion and (or) migration. During conversion, the format of the electronic document changes, and during migration, it is moved from one software platform or medium to another without changing the format. However, the conversion of an electronic document may also be required during migration. In such situations, having a reliable converter program is a good idea. Take your time to choose the software that corresponds to your needs and see your files perfectly organized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *