Please explain how to know what program to open a file with?

Question

Thank you for your answer regarding file association. I think it will help. What I still don't know which program to open what file with. Is there a simple rule I could follow? Am I messing things up if I choose the wrong one? Guess I'm not as comfortable with this as I should be. But thanks for your help.

Answer

This question was answered on July 27, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

In the previous answer we believe that you went in to change your system to show all file extensions, this is the .xxx, that you will see after the file name These extensions give you a clue as to what program to use to open what file Normally when the association is set up correctly files will be opened with the correct program and you will not even realize it The problem comes in when you receive attachments downloads etc from the internet or email that your computer says,"oh,oh I don't know this type of file, how do you want me to open it?" If you make the wrong choice at that point and click the button at the bottom that says,"always open this file with this program" you have created an association that won't do you any good That is where the right click can help you out when you select "open with." Please see below for more information Also when we did a search in Altavista for "file extensions" we found all sorts of helpful pages explaining this topic more thoroughly

Files on FTP servers (and computer files in general) often end in a "dot" and a three or four letter file extension The file extension tells you what kind of file it is, and consequently helps you figure out what you have to do to the file after you've downloaded it Common file extensions include:

.txt (plain text)

.htm and .html (HTML text documents)

.jpg and .gif (types of image files)

.wav, .au, .snd (types of sound files)

.zip (PC compressed file archive)

.sea and .sit (Macintosh compressed file archives)

.hqx, .mme, .uue, .bin (various file encoding methods)

So, if you download a file named animalsounds.zip.uue, you know that the file has been UUencoded and made into a zip archive, which means that you have to Uudecode it and "unzip" the archive File extensions also help your FTP client or Web browser figure this out, so it can process the files automatically

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on July 27, 1999