List of file formats

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This article lists the commonly used web-based file formats and their associated programs.

Browser compatible

These filetype are viewable in the majority of standard browsers.

Web Pages

  • .asp - Microsoft Active Server Page.
  • .aspx - Microsoft Active Server Page .NET.
  • .cfm - ColdFusion
  • .cgi - Common Gateway Interface.
  • .htm, .html, - Generic HTML which is plaintext and can be edited in any plaintext editor or HTML editor.
  • .shtml - HTML with Server Side Includes
  • .jsp - JavaServer Pages
  • .php, .php? - Generic PHP file (? is a version number, eg. php3, php5).
  • .pl - Perl script
  • .txt - Plain Text file.



  • .jpg, .jpe, .jpeg, .jfif - a lossy image format. This format cannot be animated and does not contain transperancy. Best used for complex or large images such as photos, inadviseable for images containing text (as it often blurs the edges, making it difficult to read).
  • .gif - CompuServe's Graphics Interchange Format; an indexed colour file format, it is restricted to up to 256 'indexed' colors. Best for smaller images, containing text or logos, or other images with a restricted colour pallete.
  • .png - Portable Network Graphic; a more advanced indexed colour image that can contain up to a 24-bit alpha channel, including alpha transparency. A more advanced version of gif, it often has bigger filesize, though is not fully supported by IE6.
  • .bmp - Microsoft Windows Bitmap Formatted Image. This format is not recommended for web use as the filesize iss too large.
  • .ico - an Microsoft Windows icon format. Contains small bitmap images at multiple resolutions and sizes.
  • .tif, .tiff - Tagged Image File Format (usually lossless, but many variants exist, including lossy ones.)


  • .gif - gif image files can include multiple frames and timing, resulting in animation. This file format is restricted to 256 colors.
  • .swf - Shockwave Flash; The native Flash player format.


  • .aiff - lossless audio format
  • .mp3 - MPEG Layer 3 audio (lossy)
  • .ra, .rm - RealAudio
  • .swa - Macromedia Shockwave Audio (Same compression as MP3 with additional header information specific to Director)
  • .wav - lossless format, generally too large for web use
  • .wmv - Windows Media Video (lossless)
  • .wma - Windows Media Audio (lossless)


  • .asx - Advanced Stream Redirector (a type of XML metafile)
  • .m3u - MP3 playlist


  • .3gp - the most common video format for mobile phones
  • .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))
  • .avi - Audio Video Interleave - a shell that enables any form of compression to be used; MPEG-1 and a variant of MPEG-4 are common)
  • .flv - Flash video played through a .swf file.
  • .m2v - MPEG-2 Video file
  • .mov - Quicktime video; enables any form of compression to be used; Sorenson codec is the most common.
  • .mp3 - MPEG layer 3 audio;
  • .mp4 -
  • .mpeg, .mpg, .mpe - Moving Picture Experts Group
  • .ra - Real Audio

Non-browser compatible

These filetypes are common working files for the Internet but are not fully compatible or viewable in a standard browser but can be made available as downloadable files.

Application source

  • .doc - Microsoft Word document
  • .fla - Shockwave Flash source file
  • .psd - Adobe Photoshop Drawing The native Photoshop format
  • .psp - Jasc Paint Shop Pro image
  • .rtf - Rich Text Format
  • .xls - Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet

Vector graphics

  • .ai - Adobe Illustrator Document.
  • .eps - Encapsulated Postscript.
  • .vrml - Virtual Reality Modeling Language
  • .wmf, .emf - Windows MetaFile, Enhanced (Windows) MetaFile (an extension to WMF)

Archive/Compression formats


  • .otf - OpenType Font
  • .ps - PostScript Font, Type 1, Type 2
  • .ttf - TrueType Font


  • .class - Java class file
  • .exe - Windows executable application
  • .jar - Archives of Java class files
  • .pdf - Portable Document Format, native to Adobe Reader
  • .pps - Microsoft PowerPoint Show
  • .ppt - Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Server files



  • .accdb, .mdb - Microsoft Access Database Format
  • .db
  • .frm - MySQL table definition
  • .myd - MySQL MyISAM table data
  • .myi - MySQL MyISAM table index
  • .sql - bundled SQL queries

See also

External links