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PC Technician - discusses windows file extensions

How to handle files with no or unknown extension

Unlike the file names in Macintosh or unix, Microsoft decided to add extensions to the names of files so they can be associated with the application that created them. This was done, so when you double click on a file - windows will open (read) the file with the correct application that created it. For example, if you double click on a file with a name like filename.doc - windows will use the file extension .doc which is normally associated with Microsoft Word ( a word processing program ) to open/read this file. Of course, if you don't have the Microsoft Word program you will get an error message in a window that says "Choose the program you want to use to open this file". Or if the filename doesn't have an extension you will get the same message. So now you are burdened with trying to figure out which program will open the file. I ran across this the other day - I had a file extension of .wps and the icon that showed with this extension looked like a word perfect file. When I tried to open this file with word perfect - I got some goofy message and I realized this was not a word perfect file. So I found an online program that would try to suggest the correct file format. See this page below:

The online program analyzed the file name I gave it and it turned out to be a Microsoft Works Program. Sure enough this file opened with MS Works and in fact, it also opened with MS Word. I tried a little experiment - I removed the file extension and tried it again ( ie, without an extension ) and got the same results. So if you get a file without the normal extension you can use the above site to analyze the file.

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