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File Extensions

What are file extensions and how to deal with them when your files wont open.

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Email Attachments not Opening?

If you can't open email attachments in Outlook Express try this tutorial

Your default settings for file asociations in the registry may have been corrupted, you can restore your associations for dozens of file types at the site below. Repair incorrect file extension associations and then your attachments should be able to open again.

Another possibility applicable to Outlook Express is that potentially dangerous attachment types are being blocked automatically. In fact this option is auto-enabled for the latest installs and upgrades. If you go to Tools, then Options and then Security you will see this option: "Do not allow attachments to be opened or saved that could potentially be a virus."

At your own risk you can deselect this and see if your attachments will open. WARNING: Be absolutely sure that you trust any attachment before opening it. Heres a great tutrial on how to deal with this very case:

Comments [2]

How do I open a .DAT file?

Download Top 3 Registry Cleaners

I need help opening files with “dat” extension.

You should be able to view a DAT file with the standard Notepad program if not try

  • Right click file and choose the 'open with' option
  • at the prompt schoose 'select program from list' Click OK
  • Choose Notepad
  • Important - uncheck the box that says 'Always use the selected program to open this kind of file'

 For a different file viewer download this free trial of Explorerview (recommended) by GetData or for business and enterprise go with Quickview Plus by Avantstar.

Comments [0]

How do RAW and JPG File Formats Compare?

RAW vs JPG File Formats

Beyond the shared goal of storing information about a picture the RAW and JPG formats have nearly nothing in common. One stores information in a standardized format, the other differs between cameras. One creates smaller, compressed files that have had information removed. The other creates huge files that maintain every detail. The easiest way to explore these differences is to walk through the photographic process from the click of the shutter to the final digital edit.

Image Capture

As soon as light hits the camera's sensor the image format you have chosen begins to affect the final result. If the image is to be stored in JPG format, then the camera has a lot of work to do. Your camera's sensor will provide between 12 and 14 data points (bits) for each pixel of the image but the JPG format can only store 8 bits of information for each pixel.

In order to figure out the best possible value for each of these precious bits, a number of factors must be taken into account. Your settings for white-balance, contrast and compression will all have an impact. Any information that falls outside the range represented by your presets is lost. The JPG format will also drop some detail in order to reduce file size.  The result of all this processing is a standardized file that is not overly bulky and can be viewed and manipulated by nearly any photo editing software on the market.

When shooting in RAW mode, things happen differently. The camera will not attempt to interpret the data from the sensor. It will record all the original values for each pixel without sacrificing any information. White-balance, contrast and other important information is stored as a notation about the data, but will not affect the actual image.  With a RAW formated image, the shutter speed, ISO setting and aperture are all that will have an impact on what is recorded. 

The exact format used to store the image data will vary between vendors. Even two cameras from the same vendor may use different versions of the RAW format. Some will compress the data, others will not. Regardless of the specifics, the shear volume of information being stored will result in a file that is significantly larger than an equivalent JPG image.  In addition to requiring extra storage space, the RAW image will also take longer to write to the memory card.

Image Editing

When  you connect your camera to the computer you will see another consequence of your file format choice. While there is a nearly endless supply of programs that support the JPG format, the number that can edit the exact version of the RAW format used by your camera will not be as high. The camera vendor will supply one solution.  In addition to the software supplied by the vendor,  Adobe's Photoshop is likely to support your camera. The current version of Photoshop (CS3) supports over 150 different RAW formats.

This format profusion and reliance on vendor specific software is often sited as one of the drawbacks to using the RAW format.  Adobe is working to solve this problem – even for those who don't use Photoshop.

The company has created an open standard for the RAW format called the Digital Negative or DNG for short.  This open standard is already being at least partially adopted by several major vendors including Hasselblad, Rioch and Samsung. Until more vendors standardize,  Adobe offers a free utility for download from their website that will convert proprietary images into DNG format. This version of the RAW  format  has much wider software support than the individual proprietary implementations. Unlike a conversion to JPG, converting an image from a camera's native  RAW format to the open DNG standard does not result in data loss. 

Once inside the editor, the advantages of using RAW start to become clear. You will find you have far greater control over the details of the image. Tonal information that would be deeply embedded in a JPG image can be easily adjusted. Even changing the entire color space used by the image possess no particular difficulty.

Also, using this single high quality original you have the option of producing copies targeted to different purposes.  It is easy to produce high quality TIFF images, or even create JPG images of a higher caliber than what your camera could produce.  Lighting can be adjusted to create multiple versions of an image suited to different media and uses.

It could be argued that not every shot needs to be retouched in exacting detail and that for these instances RAW is a waste of storage space and time. Given ever falling memory prices, the storage space issue is quickly resolving its self.  As for post processing, while RAW does allow you significantly greater control over individual images, this does not mean you have to use it every time.

By taking advantage of batch processing in your photo editor of choice, you can easily create JPG copies of all your images using either the camera's original settings, or your own. Since your computer's processing power far exceeds that of even the most high end cameras, the resulting images may look better even without retouching.   If at some future date, you decide you are not happy with the JPG results, you will still be able to go back to the original RAW file.  Taking the few extra seconds on each image will pay off when you don't have to spend hours making adjustments to that crucial shot that could have been done in seconds using a RAW original.

Popular File Extensions
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File Extension xls
File Extension pps
File Extension dmg
File Extension 3g2
File Extension metadata
File Extension dat
File Extension flv
File Extension db
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File Extension ppt

Comments [0]

What is File Extension XLS?

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File Extension XLS

Excel Spreadsheet File Format

Microsoft commissioned this file extension as part of their Excel accounting application. It is popularly known as Excel Spreadsheet file. MS Excel is a spreadsheet application, shipped as part of the Microsoft Office Suite.

The file extension .xls is supported by the applications, MS Excel, MS Excel Viewer (used to view a finished excel spreadsheet), MS Works, OpenOffice Suite (within Linux OS), and Google Spreadsheets.

Excel is the most popular spreadsheet data format out there. The first version of Excel was released in 1985. Since then, Excel continued to grow, and achieved universal reach among the novices as well as the high-end users and programmers. The latest version of the software is MS Excel 2007, which was released for Windows platform as well as Mac OS.

Excel has database capabilities as well, though not much as MS Access, a dedicated database application. The feature-rich Excel application can store more than one Excel sheet in a single window. This is achieved through tabbing mechanism. With the programming capabilities and macro recording abilities through VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), Excel spreadsheet is more than a spreadsheet. It is a complete, feature-rich accounting application as part of the Office Suite.

This file format is as versatile as the others in MS Office Suite are, with ability to contain any other type of object (like pictures, movies, or other types of files), which, in Microsoft terms, is called OLE (Object Linking and Embedding). A mere double-click on the contained object will open it using the concerned application. OLE is a revolutionary technology that is being adopted in almost all applications of Microsoft.

Technical Information of the Excel Spreadsheet Format

1.MIME type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension): This is used to describe the encoding of the file when it is sent over the Internet through the email. The MIME types of the Excel sheet can be one of the following:


2. The Identifying Characters: The file types have some characters at the start of the binary data, which identify uniquely the type of the file it is. These characters can be viewed through a hexadecimal editor like Hackman for example. The characters for Excel file are these (in hexadecimal):

D0 CF 11 E0 A1 B1 1A E1 00

3. Program ID: The windows uses an ultimate database of everything stored in the system, known as Windows Registry. Registry stores the information about each application associated to a file extension using a Program ID. The following is the program ID for the Excel spreadsheet file.


These are the major characteristics of the Excel Spreadsheet. It has come to the latest stage in which the format is XML based now (Extensible Markup Language). The XML is a universal markup language, which can be extended to define virtually any type of file. The new XML based spreadsheet format will have great impact in tomorrow’s accounting applications.

Comments [0]

File Extensions not opening

I am having a lot of problems with file extensions not opening & unknown file extensions ... Can you help me understand what to do with unrecognized file extensions so Windows will open my programs again?

Why does Windows OS not recognize a File Extension?

First let me explain what file extensions are, then I'll go on to explain how to fix problems with unrecognized file extensions

Fix and Open any File Extension in seconds with FILECURE! 

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File Extensions

Each application program stores its data in some format, which may or may not be recognized by other application programs. This data storage to a permanent or temporary storage medium is in a specific format that the concerned application program can understand and process.

To distinguish among the different file formats out there, we use the file extensions.

The file extensions are like signature to an application program, as only one application can open and process a particular file extension in a system (and the application programs register their native file extensions when they are installed in the system). This is usually a three or four letter alphanumeric code added at the end of the name of a file.

For instance: battle.doc, surgery.ppt, status.mpeg, etc.

The file types and the extensions present in a system are usually dependant on the number and variety of the software installed. Usually one file with a particular extension cannot be opened by a different application. And in Windows based systems, the file extensions are hidden from the users by default. But you can view them by doing a small tweak in Folder Options, View tab.

Two types of files are data files and program files. The data files are used to store data, whereas the program files manipulate the data. Examples of data file extensions are .doc, .xls, etc., and the examples of program file extensions include .exe, .dll etc.

Usually one particular file extension may be used by more than one application program. Therefore, it may have different format descriptions, program ID, and general data structure dependant on the particular application that creates it.

Some other properties of the File extensions are these (all these properties are dependant on the application that creates the file, and vary according to that). :

  1. MIME type: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) type is used to describe the encoding of the file when it is sent across the Internet through email documents, usually as an attachment.
  2. The identifying characters: These characters come at the beginning of the file with the particular extension. Usually these characters identify unique attributes about the particular file.
  3. Program ID: The Windows systems use a single most important database of everything that is run, stored, or processed in the system, called the registry. The application program that uses a particular file extension is identified in the registry through its program ID. This may be ASCII or Hexadecimal. Also this is specific to the particular application that creates the file.

Some of the major file extensions are these:

  • XLS: Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet
  • PPS: PowerPoint Show
  • DAT: Generic Data file
  • BUP: DVD IFO Backup file
  • ODT: OpenDocument Text file
  • DB: File used by Paradox Database and many other RDBMS applications.
  • WMV: Windows Media Video
  • M4V: MPEG 4 Video part 14
  • OFX: Either Olicom Fax file or Open Financial Exchange file
  • ASPX: ASP-XHTML (also ASP-XML) file (Active Server Pages-Extensible HTML) XML-Extensible Markup Language
  • DLL: Dynamic Link Library
  • BIN: Binary file
  • PDF: Portable Document Format

File extensions are usually widely accepted for many of the most popular files. But some of the file extensions are still very widely used by different applications for different types of data. A standardization in this is highly appreciable and desirable.

Comments [12]

Why is a File Extension not recognized by my system?

File Extension Problem?

Can’t Open a File or Program? Unknown File type Error?

Most computer users will be familiar with using files, however not all users will be aware of file extensions or what they mean.

File extensions are the suffix after the file name that lets you know what type of file it is. File extensions usually have three or sometimes four letters, preceded by a period and occasionally may even incorporate numbers.

An example of a file is mywork.doc – in this case mywork is the file name or root name and doc is the file extension, which tells you it is a Microsoft Word document.

Your PC needs to know the file extension so it can use the correct program to open the file. Occasionally you may see a message telling you your operating system does not know which program to use and asking you to select one to open the file. When this happens, it helps to know a little about what each file extension means and which application is needed to work with the file.

Below is a list of some common file extensions and the type of file they represent.
* xls – a spreadsheet created by Microsoft Excel
* pps – a Microsoft Power Point slide show
* dat – a data file
* bup – a backup file for a DVD IFO file
* odt – Open Office or Open Document text document
* db – a database file
* wmv – a Windows Media video file
* m4v – an iTunes video file
* ofx – Open Financial Exchange file
* aspx – ActiveX server pages of Microsoft.Net
* dll – Dynamic Link Library
* bin – a binary file or a CD image file
* pdf – portable document format created by Acrobat Reader from Adobe

Each application on your PC will have its own type of file extension. Whenever you work with or save data, you will be able to see which type of file extension is used by that particular program.
When you explore files stored on your computer, the file extension is usually hidden. This is a default setting on Windows. It is possible however to change this setting by going to the Control Panel and selecting Folder Options. Click on View and in the list that appears, locate ‘Hide file extensions for known file types’ and uncheck the box. The extensions will now be visible.

Some file types can be dangerous and may harm your PC by executing a virus or malicious script. Be particularly careful when opening email attachments and if you’re at all unsure of what they contain or if you don’t know the sender, it’s best not to open them at all, or if you must then check them first using your anti virus scanner.

There are many hundreds of file extensions in use today and although it would be impossible to learn what they all mean, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the most common types at least. Not only will it make your computing experience easier but can also keep your PC safe from harm.

Download this free scanner and find out just how clogged your Windows registry really is.

Comments [5]

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