Many times, I’ve often wondered how people get to know stuff without knowing the pre-s. Yet a person can confidently call himself a pro totally ignoring pre- lessons. The simple truth is you can never be called a professional if you ignore the simple basics of what you’re doing. Allow me to introduce you to Basics. A lot of colleagues in my line of work often call me to ask me simple questions on issues they’re facing. At first, I thought it was a tease or a trick question but later, I got to know that it was just simple ignorance. They just don’t know! And that’s just a disaster. So the moral of this lesson is: Whatever profession you may indulge in, get to know the basics. They are the things that really make you the Pro.


Some times I feel like I have a PhD in knowing extension names (lol). Well that’s because whenever I see any extension name, I usually ensure to know the name as well as the kind of program that will open such. But then, it may not be as simple as it sounds. It takes dedication and that’s hardly something a lot of people have. A lot of computer operators that I know like taking the short-cut, forgetting that it was the long-cut that first came about before the short-cut was discovered.

File types are the designations that specify the characteristics of a file. They help identify a program used to open a file. File types are associated with a filename extension. File name extensions follow the period in a file name and indicate the type of information stored in a file. Hence, an extension name is usually a period sign with three letters (for example .txt) although that has changed overtime. Some programs have a four-lettered extension name. But for now, let’s stick to the basics. 😀

Now, let’s talk about the various file types starting with the common ones.

.txt         Text Document

.doc       Microsoft Word 97-2003 Document

.docx     Microsoft Word Document

.xls         Microsoft Excel Worksheet

.ppt        PowerPoint Presentation file

.pps       PowerPoint Show

.rtf          Rich Text file

.exe       Executable file

.wma     Windows Media Audio file

.wmf     Windows Metafile

.jpg        JPEG file (JPEG means Joint Picture Export Group)

.mp4      MPEG-4 Video file (MPEG means Motion Picture Export Group)

.mp3      MPEG-3 Audio file

.htm      Hypertext Mark-up file

.cdr        CorelDraw Graphic

.psd       Photoshop Document

.pdf        Portable Document file

.zip         Windows Compressed Zipped Folders

.rar         WinRAR Archive

.mov      QuickTime Movie

.m3u      MP3 Playlist

.vob       DVD-Video file

.flv          Flash Video file

.ini          Configuration Settings file

.inf         Setup Information file

Know this though that every time you install a program onto your computer, the file type database in your system updates with the program being installed. Therefore, if a file exists on your system, and displays the unknown file type icon (see figure below) and the program being installed is such that it can open it, the programs automatically associates itself with it. If it doesn’t, you can do that manually by associating that file type with the program provided it is a program that can open such a file.Unrecognised File Type Image I must breathe caution to you here though that if you are unsure of a program’s association with a file; endeavour not to try it unless of course, you know what you’re doing.

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