List of file formats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search

This is a list of computer file formats, organized by type. Filename extensions are usually noted in parentheses if they differ from the format name or abbreviation. In theory, using the basic Latin alphabet (A–Z) and numerals (0-9), a three character extension can yield up to 46,656 combinations; (26+10)3. When other characters are accepted, the maximum number is increased (very possibly to a number consisting of at least six digits). Many operating systems do not limit filenames to a single extension shorter than 4 characters, as was common with some operating systems that supported the FAT file system. Examples of operating systems that do not impose this limit include Unix-like systems. Also, Microsoft Windows NT, 95, 98, and Me do not 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. Some filenames are given extensions longer than three characters.


Archive and compressed[edit]

Physical recordable media archiving[edit]

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

(MPEG-1 is found in a .DAT file on a video CD.)


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

Computer-aided design (CAD)[edit]

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

Electronic design automation (EDA)[edit]

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

Test technology[edit]

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


Desktop publishing[edit]


These files store formatted text and plain text.

Financial records[edit]

Financial data transfer formats[edit]

Font file[edit]

Geographic information system[edit]

Graphical information organizers[edit]


Main article: image file formats

Color palettes[edit]

Color management[edit]

Raster graphics[edit]

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

Vector graphics[edit]

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

3-D graphics[edit]

3D graphics are 3D models that allow building models in real-time or non real-time 3D rendering.

Links and shortcuts[edit]


Object code, executable files, shared and dynamically linked libraries[edit]

Object extensions[edit]

  • .VBX — Visual Basic extensions
  • .OCX — Object Control extensions

Page description language[edit]

Personal information manager[edit]


Project management software[edit]

Reference management software[edit]

Formats of files used for bibliographic information (citation) management.

Scientific data (data exchange)[edit]




Main article: chemical file format



Biomedical imaging[edit]

Biomedical signals (time series)[edit]

Other Biomedical Formats[edit]

Biometric Formats[edit]



Authentication and general encryption formats are listed here.

Certificates and keys[edit]


Encrypted files[edit]

This section shows file formats for encrypted general data, rather than a specific program's data.

Password files[edit]

Password files (sometimes called keychain files) contain lists of other passwords, usually encrypted.

Signal data (non-audio)[edit]

Sound and music[edit]

Lossless audio[edit]

Lossy audio[edit]

Other music[edit]


Audio editing, music production[edit]

Source code for computer programs[edit]

(see also: Script)


Tabulated data[edit]


Main article: video file format

Video editing, production[edit]

Video game data[edit]

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

Video game storage media[edit]

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.[13]

  • FDS — Famicom Disk System (.fds)
  • JST — Jnes Save States (.jst)
  • FC? — FCEUX Save States (.fc#, where # is any character, usually a number)
  • 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, .z10-.z99)
  • FRZ — Snes9X Save States (.frz, .000-.008)
  • TAP (for tape images without copy protection)
  • Z80,SNA — (for snapshots of the emulator RAM)
  • DSK — (for disk images)
  • T64 — (for tape images without copy protection, considerably smaller than .tap files)
  • D64 — (for disk images)
  • CRT — (for cartridge 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[edit]

Microsoft Virtual PC, Virtual Server[edit]

EMC VMware ESX, GSX, Workstation, Player[edit]


Parallels Workstation[edit]

Main article: Parallels Workstation



Markup languages other web standards-based file formats[edit]



Generalized files[edit]

General data formats[edit]

These file formats are fairly well defined by long-term use or a general standard, but the content of each file is often highly specific to particular software or has been extended by further standards for specific uses.


Generic file extensions[edit]

These are filename extensions and broad types reused frequently with differing formats or no specific format by different programs.

Binary files[edit]

Text files[edit]

Partial files[edit]

Differences and patches[edit]

Incomplete transfers[edit]

Temporary files[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]