List of file formats

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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 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 acceptable 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 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. 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.

Font file[edit]

Geographic information system[edit]

Graphical information organizers[edit]


Color palettes[edit]

Raster graphics[edit]

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

  • ASE – Adobe Swatch
  • ARTAmerica Online proprietary format
  • BMPMicrosoft Windows Bitmap formatted image
  • BLP – Blizzard Entertainment proprietary texture format
  • CD5 – Chasys Draw IES image
  • CIT – Intergraph is a monochrome bitmap format
  • CPT – Corel PHOTO-PAINT image
  • CR2 – Canon camera raw format. Photos will have this format on some Canon cameras if the quality "RAW" is selected in camera settings.
  • 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 files 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
  • GPL – GIMP Palette, using a textual representation of color names and RGB values
  • GRF – Zebra Technologies proprietary 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) – Joint Photographic Experts Group – a lossy image format widely used to display photographic images.
  • JP2 – JPEG2000
  • JPS – JPEG Stereo
  • 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.
  • PDN – Paint.NET image file
  • PGM – Portable graymap
  • PI1 – Low resolution, uncompressed Degas picture file
  • PI2 – Medium resolution, uncompressed Degas picture file. Also Portrait Innovations encrypted image format.
  • PI3 – High resolution, uncompressed Degas picture file
  • PICT, PCT – Apple Macintosh PICT image
  • PNG – Portable Network Graphic (lossless, recommended for display and edition of graphic images)
  • PNM – Portable anymap graphic bitmap image
  • PNS – PNG Stereo
  • PPM – Portable Pixmap (Pixel Map) image
  • PSB – Adobe Photoshop Big image file (for large files)
  • PSD, PDD – Adobe Photoshop Drawing
  • PSP – Paint Shop Pro image
  • PX – Pixel image editor image file
  • PXM - Pixelmator image file
  • PXR – Pixar Image Computer image file
  • QFX – QuickLink Fax image
  • RAW – General term for minimally processed image data (acquired by a digital camera)
  • RLE – a run-length encoded image
  • SCT – Scitex Continuous Tone image file
  • SGI, RGB, INT, BW – Silicon Graphics Image
  • TGA (.tga, .targa, .icb, .vda, .vst, .pix) – Truevision TGA (Targa) image
  • TIFF (.tif or .tiff) – Tagged Image File Format (usually lossless, but many variants exist, including lossy ones)
  • TIFF/EP (.tif or .tiff) – ISO 12234-2; tends to be used as a basis for other formats rather than in its own right.
  • VTF – Valve Texture Format
  • XBM – X Window System Bitmap
  • XCF – GIMP image (from Gimp's origin at the eXperimental Computing Facility of the University of California)
  • XPM – X Window System Pixmap

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.


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

Object extensions

  • .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]






Biomedical imaging[edit]

Biomedical signals (time series)[edit]

Other Biomedical Formats[edit]


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]


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.[8]

  • 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]



XML, markup language, other web standards-based file formats[edit]



Financial records[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]