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File Extension Definitions

This is an outline of different file extensions, what they are, and what programs you can use to open them with.

Please note, if you don't have the Microsoft Office Suite on your computer, let us know and we can get it for you.



PC/MAC:

Microsoft Office Suite:

.doc (Microsoft Word Document, 2003-2007) is universal and can be opened by any computer that has Microsoft Office on it. When sending a word document, convert it to .doc (Select File -> Save As -> .doc)
.doc files can only be opened on a computer that has Microsoft Office on it.

.docx (Microsoft Word Document 2007-2011) often can only open on computers with MS office 2007 or newer.

.ppt (Microsoft Powerpoint, Slideshow, 2003-2007) is universal and can be opened by any computer that has Microsoft Powerpoint on it (i.e. Microsoft Office Suite). When sending a Powerpoint, convert it to .ppt (Select File -> Save As -> .ppt)

.pptx (Microsoft Powerpoint, Slideshow, 2007-2011) often can only open on computers with MS Powerpoint 2007 or newer.

.xls (Microsoft Excel, 2003-2007) is universal and can be opened by any computer that has Microsoft Excel on it (or Microsoft Office Suite). When sending an excel spreadsheet, convert it to .xls (Select File -> Save As -> .xls)

.xlsx (Microsoft Excel 2007-2011) often can only open on computers with MS Excel 2007 or newer.

.txt This is the simplest text file. Open on PC with "Notepad", open on MAC with "TextEdit." This type of file is beneficial because the program does not incorporate any background components into the file, making it easy to copy and paste without bringing over unnecessary "stuff".

.rtf (Rich Text Format) This is similar to a .txt file. Open on a PC with "Notepad", open on a MAC with "TextEdit"


Image Files:

.pdf (Portable Document Format) is an image file with a fixed layout that is one of the most common file types. Therefore, it is essential to have a program to read .pdf files. Good thing there is a free program! http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/ Just enter your operating system (i.e. Windows 7, Mac OS 4) and language and BAM you can read .pdf files.

When working with students, always make sure they have this program on their computer.


Fun Fact: Adobe is the company that created the standardized .pdf document in 1993!

.jpg (.jpeg) Common image file extension you will encounter often.
.jpg files can be opened on a MAC with the program "Preview" (default) or a web browser (Right Click or Command + Left Click -> Open with -> Firefox).
On a PC, .jpg files can be opened with "Windows Photo Viewer" (default), Irfan View, or "Paint" if you would like to do any editing.


PC ONLY

.exe (executable file). This is the file you will see when you are trying to download a new program. It means that it is the "installer file" and if you double click it, it will allow a program to "Run" and go forward with installation.


MAC ONLY

.dmg (disk image file) This is the file you will see when you are trying to download a new program. It means that it is the "installer file" and if you double click it, it will allow a program to "Run" and go forward with installation.

Last modified January 12 2012 11:47 AM

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