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Windows XP in a Nutshell, Second Edition by Troy Mott, Tim O'Reilly, David A. Karp

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Appendix F. Common Filename Extensions

This appendix lists many of the most common filename extensions that you’ll find on your system, that you might download, or have sent to you over the Internet.

Extensions were universally used on DOS and Windows 3.1 files, but Microsoft has gone to some difficulty to hide them in Windows XP. This is unfortunate, since they play a major role in the way Windows decides what application will be used to open a file, as well as which files will be visible when opening files in a given application. While direct associations are made between some files without extensions and the applications needed to open them, in most cases, the association is between an extension and a Registry setting that tells the system what application to use. To enable the display of filename extensions, go to Control Panel [Appearance and Themes] Folder Options View tab, and turn off the “Hide extensions for known file types” option.

If you double-click on an unknown file type, the Open With dialog box (see “Folder Options” in Chapter 4) appears, allowing you to make a new association. To subsequently change an association once it has been made, right-click on the file and select Open With, or select Properties and then click Change.

We’ve tried to list the most common system extensions in Table 1, but there are literally thousands of file formats used by third party applications. And you might be thrown off by an improperly named file, or an application using a standard ...

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