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Windows Manual
Boston area Windows Training, Tutoring and Consulting
copyright 1996, 2001 by Tracy Marks

LESSON Three: Managing Files  continued

G. Common File Formats and Extensions

Many Windows users are confused by the large number
of file formats used by Windows and Windows software. Which file types
are associated with which program? Which programs open which file types?
Which file types are system files, necessary for Windows to operate? The
following list should clarify some of these issues.

.ani      windows animated cursor file
.avi      video for windows video clip
.bak     backup file
.bat      ms-dos system start-up file
.bmp    windows bitmapped graphic image

.cdr      corel draw 3, 4 and 5 vector image
.cmx    corel draw 5, 6 vector image
.com    ms-dos application
.cur      windows cursor file
.dll       dynamic link library system file

.doc     microsoft word/wordpad document
.dos     ms-dos file
.dot     microsoft word template
.eps     encapsulated postscript image
.exe     executable program file

.gif      CompuServe Internet graphic image
.hlp     windows help file
.htm    Internet document file (created on a PC)

.html     Internet document file (created on a Mac)
.ico       windows icon file
.inf        windows setup file

.ini       program configuration text file
.jpg      compressed quiktime image/Internet picture
.log      notepad log (text file)
.mid     windows midi music file
.old      old file, usually an earlier version of a replaced file

.pcx      pc paintbrush bitmap image
.pdf      adobe acrobat file (multi-operating system)
.pm6    adobe pagemaker 6 file
.pot      microsoft powerpoint template
.ppt      microsoft powerpoint presentation

.psd      adobe photoshop image file
.pub      microsoft publisher file
.qic       microsoft backup file
.rpt       report (text) file
.rtf        rich text format

.scp      dialup-networking script file
.scr       windows screensaver
.sea, .sit     Macintosh compressed file
.sys       system text file
.tif         tagged image format image file

.tmp     temporary file
.ttf        true type font file
.txt       text file, associated with notepad
.url       internet address shortcut
.wav     wave for windows sound file

.wfn     corel draw symbol file
.wmf     windows metafile image format
.wpd     wordperfect document
.wpg     wordperfect vector graphics file
.wps     microsoft works document

.wri     windows write wordprocessor
.xlc     microsoft excel chart
.xls     microsoft excel version 4, 5
.zip     windows zipped compressed file


Raster or bitmap images consist of hundreds of tiny dots or pixels which
create variation in color and shading. Created by painting software such
as MsPaint, Corel PhotoPaint, or Adobe Photoshop, these images contain
continuous tones and reproduce photograph detail. However, they tend
to be large in size, and are not easily enlarged or reduced.

Vector images, composed of lines, are based upon mathematical formulas
which enable images to be drawn according to specific coordinates. Unlike
raster images, they do not utilize pixel information. Created and used by
drawing programs (such as Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator) rather than
painting software, vector files are small in size, and can easily be reduced,
enlarged, or transformed without loss of quality.


Graphics File Formats

Common Internet File Formats

Multimedia File Formats on the Internet

NEXT: Lesson 4, Customizing Your Desktop - Shortcut Icons    continue


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