I Hate Unknown File Extensions
One day you double click on an icon and you are greeted with a message that says “unknown file type or extension”. What now? Of course Windows gives you a dialog box where you can choose what program to open it with, but which one do you pick? If you pick the wrong program, you get a bunch of garbled characters or the program says that it can’t open that particular type of file. Nowadays there are some many different computer programs that produce so many different types of files. It’s hard to keep up with all of them and to make sure your computer can read all of them.
Fortunately there is a way to identify these mystery file extensions and find out what program to use to open them. There is a really cool and useful website that will tell you exactly what you need to know. It’s called OpenWith.org
When you get to the homepage of this website you will see a no frills interface. The search box is located in the upper left hand corner. Basically you type the unknown extension in the box and click Search. Then you will be provided with a list of open source software that will open and use the file. You can choose which one to use and click on the link which will redirect you to the website where you can download the software.
For example, let’s use the extension .jpg. Even though we know it’s a picture file lets pretend I don’t know what kind of file this or what program to use to open it. I simply go to OpenWith.org and type the extension into the box and click “Search”.
The results are displayed and I can see that it is a picture file. I’m given the definition of the extension, what it’s used for and provided with a list of software that can use this type of file. Each program that is listed also provides what kind of functions it can perform with this file type. Such as open, save, edit, etc. Download links are provided for each individual piece of software. If you have not heard of any of the software on the list, a quick Google search will let you know which one(s) are the most popular.
This a great website and a great resource. Especially if you don’t normally use a particular type of file and don’t want to shell out the money to be able to use it. Sometimes friends or family will send you a file and you only need to be able to open it one time. Go to this website and follow the steps above and you can quickly open it and see what it is.