List of file formats

This is a list of file formats organized by type, as can be found on computers. Filename extensions are usually noted in parentheses if they differ from the format name or abbreviation. In theory, using the English alphabet (A–Z) and a three character extension, the number of combinations amounts to 17,576 (26³). If other acceptable characters are included, the maximum number of combinations is 195,112 (26+31)³. Unix-like systems don't have extensions, and Microsoft Windows NT, 95, 98, and Me don't have a three character limit on extensions for 32-bit or 64-bit applications on file systems other than pre-Windows 95/Windows NT 3.5 versions of the FAT file system, so some file system types are given extensions longer than three characters.

Archive and compressed

  • .?Q? — files compressed by the SQ program.
  • 7z — 7-Zip compressed file
  • ace - ACE compressed file
  • ALZ — Alzip format
  • AT3 - Sony's UMD Data compression
  • .bke - Data compression
  • ARC
  • ARJ - ARJ compressed file
  • BA - Scifer Archive (.ba), Scifer External Archive Type
  • big Special file compression format used by Electronic Arts for compressing the data for many of EA's games
  • BKF (.bkf) — Microsoft backup created by NTBACKUP.EXE
  • bzip2 (.bz2)
  • cab — Microsoft Cabinet
  • cpt/sea — Compact Pro (Macintosh)
  • DAA — Closed-format, Windows-only compressed disk image
  • deb — Debian Linux install package
  • DMG — an Apple compressed/encrypted format
  • EEA — An encrypted CAB, ostensibly for protecting e-mail attachments
  • EGT (.egt) EGT Universal Document also used to create compressed cabinet files replaces .ecab
  • ECAB (.ECAB, .ezip) EGT Compressed Folder used in advanced systems to compress entire system folders, replaced by EGT Universal Document
  • ESS (.ess) EGT SmartSense File, detects files compressed using the EGT compression system.
  • GHO (.gho, .ghs) — Norton Ghost
  • gzip (.gz) — Compressed file
  • IPG (.ipg) Format in which Apple Inc. packages their Ipod Games. can be extracted through Winrar
  • jar — ZIP file with manifest for use with Java applications.
  • LBR — Library file
  • LQR — LBR Library file compressed by the SQ program.
  • LHA (.lzh) - Lempel, Ziv, Huffman
  • lzo
  • lzx
  • MacBinary (.bin)
  • PAK — Enhanced type of .ARC archive
  • Parchive (.par, .par2)
  • Doom³ archive (.pk4) (Opens similarly to a zip archive.)
  • RAR Rar Archive (.rar), for multiple file archive (rar to .r01-.r99 to s01 and so on)
  • SEN Scifer Archive (.sen), Scifer Internal Archive Type
  • sit/sitx — StuffIt (Macintosh)
  • tar
  • .tar.gz, .tgz (gzipped tar file)
  • TB (.tb) — Tabbery Virtual Desktop Tab file
  • TIB (.tib) — Acronis True Image backup
  • uha (Ultra High Archive Compression)
  • VSA — Altiris Virtual Software Archive
  • Z — Unix compress file
  • zoo
  • zip

Physical recordable media archiving

* ADZ - The GZip-compressed version of ADF.
* DMS - Disk Masher System, a disk-archiving system native to the Amiga.

  • DSK - For archiving floppy disks from a number of other platforms, including the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.
  • D64 - An archive of a Commodore 64 floppy disk.
  • SDI - System Deployment Image, used for archiving and providing "virtual disk" functionality.


Computer-aided is a prefix for several categories of tools (ie. design, manufacture, engineering) which assist professionals in their respective fields (ie. machining, architecture, schematics).

Computer-aided design (CAD)

Computer-aided design (CAD) software assists engineers, architects and other design professionals in project design.

Electronic design automation (EDA)

Electronic design automation (EDA), or electronic computer-aided design (ECAD), is specific to the field of electrical engineering.

Test technology

Files output from Automatic Test Equipment or post-processed from such.


  • ACCDB — Microsoft Database (Microsoft Office Access 2007)
  • BOX — Lotus Notes Post Office mail routing database
  • DAF - Digital Anchor data file
  • DB — Paradox
  • DBF — DBase, DBase III/IV/V, Microsoft FoxPro, Oracle
  • EGT - EGT Universal Document, used to compress sql databases to smaller files, may contain original EGT database style.
  • ESS - EGT SmartSense is a database of files and its compression style. Specific to EGT SmartSense
  • EAP — Enterprise Architect Project
  • FDB — Firebird Databases
  • FP? — FileMaker
  • FRM — MySQL table definition
  • GDB — Borland InterBase Databases
  • KEXI — Kexi database file (SQLite-based)
  • KEXIC — shortcut to a database connection for a Kexi databases on a server
  • LDB - Temporary database file, only existing when database is open
  • MDB (.mdb, .ldb) — Microsoft Database (Access)
  • MDE — Compiled Microsoft Database (Access)
  • MDF — Microsoft SQL Server Database
  • MYD — MySQL MyISAM table data
  • MYI — MySQL MyISAM table index
  • NCF — Lotus Notes configuration file
  • NSF — Lotus Notes database
  • NTF — Lotus Notes database design template
  • ODB — Base
  • ORA — Oracle tablespace files sometimes get this extension (also used for configuration files)
  • PDI — Portable Database Image
  • SQL — bundled SQL queries
  • WDB — Microsoft Works Database


These files store formatted text.

Font file

Geographic information system

  • APR (ESRI ArcView 3.3 and earlier project file)
  • DEM (USGS DEM file format)
  • E00 (ARC/INFO interchange file format)
  • GeoTIFF (Geographically located raster data)
  • GPX (XML-based interchange format)
  • MXD (ESRI ArcGIS project file, 8.0 and higher)
  • SHP (ESRI shapefile)
  • World TIFF (Geographically located raster data: text file giving corner coordinate, raster cells per unit, and rotation)
  • DTED (Digital Terrain Elevation Data)
  • KML (Keyhole Markup Language, XML-based)

Graphical information organizers

  • 3DT3D Topicscape The database in which the meta-data of a 3D Topicscape is held. A 3D Topicscape is a form of 3D concept map (like a 3D mind-map) used to organize ideas, information and computer files.
  • ATY3D Topicscape file, produced when an association type is exported by 3D Topicscape. Used to permit round-trip (export Topicscape, change files and folders as desired, re-import them to 3D Topicscape).
  • CAG - Linear Reference System.
  • FES3D Topicscape file, produced when a fileless occurrence in 3D Topicscape is exported to Windows. Used to permit round-trip (export Topicscape, change files and folders as desired, re-import them to 3D Topicscape).
  • MMFreeMind mind map file (XML).
  • MMPMind Manager mind map file.
  • TPC3D Topicscape file, produced when an inter-Topicscape topic link file is exported to Windows. Used to permit round-trip (export Topicscape, change files and folders as desired, re-import them to 3D Topicscape).


Raster graphics

Raster (or Bitmap) files store images as a group of pixels.

  • ACT — Adobe Color Table. Contains a raw color palette and usually consists of 256 24-bit RGB colour values.
  • ARTAmerica Online proprietary format
  • BMPMicrosoft Windows Bitmap formatted image
  • BLPBlizzard Entertainment proprietary texture format
  • CIT — Intergraph is a monochrome bitmap format
  • CPT — Corel PHOTO-PAINT image
  • CUT — Dr. Halo image file
  • DDS — DirectX texture file
  • DIB — Device-Independent Bitmap graphic
  • DjVu — DjVu for scanned documents
  • EGT - EGT Universal Document, used in EGT SmartSense to compress *.png to yet a smaller file
  • Exif — Exchangeable image file format (Exif) is a specification for the image file format used by digital cameras
  • GIFCompuServe's Graphics Interchange Format
  • ICNS — file format use for icons in Mac OS X. Contains bitmap images at multiple resolutions and bitdepths with alpha channel.
  • ICO — a file format used for icons in Microsoft Windows. Contains small bitmap images at multiple resolutions and sizes.
  • IFF (.iff, .ilbm, .lbm) — ILBM
  • JNG — a single-frame MNG using JPEG compression and possibly an alpha channel.
  • JPEG, JFIF (.jpg or .jpeg) — a lossy image format widely used to display photographic images.
  • JP2 — JPEG2000
  • LBM — Deluxe Paint image file
  • MAX — ScanSoft PaperPort document
  • MIFF — ImageMagick's native file format
  • MNG — Multiple Network Graphics, the animated version of PNG
  • MSP — a file format used by old versions of Microsoft Paint. Replaced with BMP in Microsoft Windows 3.0
  • NITF — A U.S. Government standard commonly used in Intelligence systems
  • OTA bitmap (Over The Air bitmap) — a specification designed by Nokia for black and white images for mobile phones
  • PBM — Portable bitmap
  • PC1 — Low resolution, compressed Degas picture file
  • PC2 — Medium resolution, compressed Degas picture file
  • PC3 — High resolution, compressed Degas picture file
  • PCF — Pixel Coordination Format
  • PCX — a lossless format used by ZSoft's PC Paint, popular at one time on DOS systems.

Vector graphics

Vector graphics use geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and polygons to represent images.

  • AWG — Ability Draw
  • AIAdobe Illustrator Document
  • EPS — Encapsulated Postscript
  • CGM — Computer Graphics Metafile an ISO Standard
  • CDR — CorelDRAW vector image
  • CMX — CorelDRAW vector image
  • DXF — ASCII Drawing Interchange file Format, used in AutoCAD and other CAD-programs
  • EGT - EGT Universal Document, EGT Vector Draw images are used to draw vector to a website
  • SVG — Scalable Vector Graphics, employs XML
  • Scene description languages (3D vector image formats)
    • RenderMan
    • STL Stereo Lithographic data format (see ) used by various CAD systems and stereo lithographic printing machines. See above.
    • VRML Uses .wrl extension — Virtual Reality Modeling Language, for the creation of 3D viewable web images.
    • X3D
  • WMF — Windows Meta File
  • EMF — Enhanced (Windows) MetaFile, an extension to WMF
  • ART — Xara — Drawing (superseded by XAR)
  • XAR — Xara — Drawing

3D graphics

3D graphics are 3D models that allow you to build models in real-time or non real-time 3D rendering.

Object code, executable files, shared and dynamically-linked libraries

Object Extensions

*.VBX — Visual Basic Extensions
*.OCX — Object Control Extensions

  • .tlb — Windows Type Library

Page description language


Scientific data formats (data exchange)

  • FITS Flexible Image Transport format — Standard data format for astronomy
  • Silo a storage format for visualization developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • SPC (Spectroscopic data)
  • EAS3 - EAS3 binary file format for structured data
  • OST - Open Spatio-Temporal. Extendable, mainly images with related data, or just pure data. Meant as an open alternative for microscope images



  • GRIB - Grid In Binary, WMO format for weather model data
  • BUFR - WMO format for weather observation data
  • PP - UK Met Office format for weather model data
  • NASA-Ames - Simple text format for observation data. First used in aircraft studies of the atmosphere.



Biomedical Imaging


Signal data formats (non-audio)

  • ACQ — AcqKnowledge File Format for Windows/PC from Biopac
  • BKR — The EEG data format developed at the University of Technology Graz
  • BDF — BioSemo data format — similar to EDF but 24bit
  • CFWB — Chart Data File Format from ADInstruments
  • EDF — European data format
  • FEF — File Exchange Format for Vital signs
  • GDF — General data formats for biomedical signals
  • GMS — Gesture And Motion Signal format
  • IROCK — intelliRock Sensor Data File Format
  • MFER — Medical waveform Format Encoding Rules
  • SCP-ECG — Standard Communication Protocol for Computer assisted electrocardiography
  • SEG YReflection seismology data format
  • SIGIF — SIGnal Interchange Format
  • and many others

Sound and music

Lossless audio

Lossy audio

Other music formats

Playlist formats

Audio Editing & Music Production formats

Source code for computer programs

(see also: Script)


Tabulated data


  • AAF (mostly intended to hold edit decisions and rendering information, but can also contain compressed media essence)
  • 3GP — the most common video format for cell phones
  • GIF — Animated GIF (simple animation; until recently often avoided because of patent problems)
  • ASF (ASF is a shell, which enables any form of compression to be used; MPEG-4 is common. Video in ASF-containers is also called Windows Media Video (WMV))
  • AVCHD - Advanced Video Codec High Definition
  • AVI — (AVI is a shell, which enables any form of compression to be used;
  • CAM — An aMSN webcam log file.
  • DAT — (DAT is a Video standard data file; Automatically created when we attempted to burn as video file on the CD)

MPEG-1 and a variant of MPEG-4 (DivX/Xvid) are common)

  • DSH
  • FLV (*.flv) A video file encoded to run in a flash animation.
  • M1V MPEG-1 Video file
  • M2V MPEG-2 Video file
  • SWF — Macromedia Flash (.swf for viewing,
  • FLA — Macromedia Flash for producing)
  • FLR — A text file which contains scripts extracted from SWF by a free ActionScript decompiler named FLARE
  • MKV — Matroska (*.mkv) (Matroska is a container format, which enables any video format such as MPEG-4 or DivX/XviD to be used along with other content such as subtitles and detailed meta information)
  • WRAP — MediaForge (*.wrap)
  • MNG (mainly simple animation containing PNG and JPEG objects, often somewhat more complex than animated GIF)
  • MOV (QuickTime, a container format, which enables any form of compression to be used; Sorenson codec is the most common. QTCH is the filetype for cached video and audio streams.)
  • MPEG (.mpeg, .mpg, .mpe)

*MPEG-4, shortened "MP4", a popular video format most often used for Sony's PlayStation Portable and Apple's iPod.

  • MXF Material Exchange Format is a standardized wrapper format for audio/visual material developed by SMPTE
  • NSV Nullsoft Streaming Video is a media container designed for streaming video content over the internet.
  • OGM (OGM is a container format created so that Ogg Vorbis could be used for the audio of a video as this could not be done with AVI)
  • Tarkin (Ogg project, all Tarkin files are Ogg files)
  • Theora (Ogg project, all Theora files are Ogg files)
  • RM — RealMedia
  • SVI Samsung video format for portable players
  • SMI SAMI Caption file. (HTML like subtitle for movie files)
  • WMV Windows Media Video (See ASF)
  • DivX Most commonly using the .avi or the .divx container
  • Xvid Most commonly using the .avi container

Video Editing & Production formats

Video game data

List of common file formats of data for video games on systems that support filesystems, most commonly PC games.

  • HALO Engine - File formats used by games based on the HALO engine.
    • MAP - A Level, User Interface, or Sounds
    • TAG - An Object
    • SAV - A saved game
    • LEV - A HALO ZERO Level
  • DOOM Engine — File formats used by games based on the DOOM engine.
    • DEH — DeHackEd files to mutate the game executable (not officially part of the DOOM engine)
    • DSG — Saved game
    • LMP - A lump is an entry in a DOOM wad.
    • LMP — Saved demo recording
    • MUS — Music file (usually contained within a WAD file)
    • WAD — Data storage (contains music, maps, and textures)
  • QUAKE Engine — File formats used by games based on the Quake engine.
  • Duke Nukem 3D Engine — File formats used by games based on the Duke Nukem 3D engine.
    • DMO — Save game
    • GRP — Data storage
    • MAP — Map (usually constructed with BUILD.EXE)
  • Other Formats

Video game storage media

List of the most common filename extensions used when a game's ROM image or storage medium is copied from an original ROM device to an external memory such as hard disk for back up purposes or for making the game playable with an emulator. In the case of cartridge-based software, if the platform specific extension is not used then filename extensions ".rom" or ".bin" are usually used to clarify that the file contains a copy of a content of a ROM. ROM, disk or tape images usually do not consist of a single file or ROM, rather an entire file or ROM structure contained within a single file on the backup medium.

* GBC — Game Boy Color (.gbc)
* GBA — Game Boy Advance (.gba)

*SAV — Game Boy Advance Saved Data Files (.sav)
*SGM — Visual Boy Advance Save States (.sgm)

  • N64, V64, Z64, U64, USA, JAP, PAL, EUR, BIN — Nintendo 64 (.n64, .v64, .z64, .u64, .usa, .jap, .pal, .eur, .bin)

* PJ — Project 64 Save States (.pj)

* FDS — Famicom Disk System (.fds)
* JST — Jnes Save States (.jst)

*FIG — Super Famicom (Japanese releases are rarely .fig, above extensions are more common)
*SRM — Super NES Saved Data Files (.srm)
*ZST — ZSNES Save States (.zst, .zs1-.zs9)
*FRZ — Snes9X Save States (.frz)

* TAP (for tape images without copy protection)
* Z80,SNA — (for snapshots of the emulator RAM)
* DSK — (for disk images)

  • TAP — Commodore 64 (.tap) (for tape images including copy protection)

* T64 — (for tape images without copy protection, considerably smaller than .tap files)
* D64 — (for disk images)
* CRT — (for cartridge images)

  • ADF — Amiga (.adf) (for 880K diskette images)

* ADZ - GZip-compressed version of the above.
* DMS - Disk Masher System, previously used as a disk-archiving system native to the Amiga, also supported by emulators.

Virtual Machines

Microsoft Virtual PC/Virtual Server


  • VFD — Virtual Floppy Disk (.vfd)
  • VHD — Virtual Hard Disk (.vhd)
  • VUD — Virtual Undo Disk (.vud)
  • VMC — Virtual Machine Configuration (.vmc)
  • VSV — Virtual Machine Saved State (.vsv)

EMC VMware ESX/GSX/Workstation/Player


  • LOG — Virtual Machine Logfile (.log)
  • VMDK, DSK — Virtual Machine Disk (.vmdk, .dsk)
  • NVRAM — Virtual Machine BIOS (.nvram)
  • VMEM — Virtual Machine paging file (.vmem)
  • VMSD — Virtual Machine snapshot metadata (.vmsd)
  • VMSN — Virtual Machine snapshot (.vmsn)
  • VMSS,STD — Virtual Machine suspended state (.vmss, .std)
  • VMTM — Virtual Machine team data (.vmtm)
  • VMX,CFG — Virtual Machine configuration (.vmx, .cfg)
  • VMXF — Virtual Machine team configuration (.vmxf)

Parallels Workstation

  • HDD — Virtual Machine hard disk (.hdd)
  • PVS — Virtual Machine preferences/configuration (.pvs)
  • SAV — Virtual Machine saved state (.sav)


  • Static
    • HTML — (.html, .htm) — HyperText Markup Language
    • XHTML — (.xhtml, .xht) — eXtensible HyperText Markup Language
    • XML — (.xml)
    • MHTML — (.mht, .mhtml) — Archived HTML, store all data on one web page (text, images, etc) in one big file
  • Dynamically generated
    • ASP — (.asp) — Microsoft Active Server Page
    • ASPX — (.aspx) — Microsoft Active Server Page. NET
    • ADP — AOLserver Dynamic Page
    • BML — (.bml) — Better Markup Language (templating)
    • CFM — (.cfm) — ColdFusion
    • CGI — (.cgi)
    • iHTML — (.ihtml) — Inline HTML
    • JSP — (.jsp) JavaServer Pages
    • Lasso — (.las, .lasso, .lassoapp)
    • PL — Perl (.pl)
    • PHP — (.php, .php?, .phtml) — ? is version number (previously abbreviated Personal Home Page, later changed to PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor)
    • SSI — (.shtml) — HTML with Server Side Includes

XML, markup language and other web standards-based file formats

  • Atom — (.atom, .xml) — Another syndication file format
  • EML — (.eml) — File format used by several desktop email clients
  • Metalink — (.metalink, .met) — A file format for listing metadata about downloads, such as mirrors, checksums, and other information.
  • RSS — (.rss, .xml) — Syndication file format


  • AXD — cookie extensions found in temporary internet folder
  • CREDX — CredX Dat File
  • DUPX - DuupeCheck database management tool project file
  • GA3 — Graphical Analysis 3
  • GED — file format for exchanging genealogical data between different genealogical systems
  • IGC — flight tracks downloaded from GPS devices in the FAI's prescribed format
  • INI file - used by many applications to store configuration
  • INF — similar file format to INI; used to install device drivers under Windows, inter alia.
  • KMC — tests made with KatzReview's MegaCrammer
  • LNK — Binary format file, stores shortcuts under MS Windows 95 and later
  • LSM - LSMaker script file (program using layered .jpg to create special effects; specifically designed to render lightsabers from the Star Wars universe) (.lsm)
  • MPP — File format for Microsoft Project
  • PIF — Used for running MS-DOS programs under Windows
  • POR — So called "portable" SPSS files, readable by PSPP
  • PXZ — Compressed file to exchange media elements with PSALMO
  • TOPC — TopicCrunch SEO Project file holding keywords, domain and search engine settings (ASCII);
  • TMP — Temporary file
  • URL — INI format file, used by Internet Explorer to save Favorites
  • ZED - My Heritage Family Tree


  • ANI — Animated Cursor
  • CUR — Cursor Files

Financial Records

See also

External links

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