List of file formats

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.

This is a list of file formats used by computers, organized by type. Filename extensions are usually noted in parentheses if they differ from the format name or abbreviation. 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.

Some file formats may be listed twice or more. An example is the .b file.

Archive and compressed

Physical recordable media archiving

  • 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 Design

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)

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.


Desktop publishing


These files store formatted text and plain text.

Financial records

Financial data transfer formats

Font file

Geographic information system

Graphical information organizers


Main article: image file formats

Color palettes

Color management

Raster graphics

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

  • ASE — Adobe Swatch
  • ARTAmerica Online proprietary format
  • BLP — Blizzard Entertainment proprietary texture format
  • BMPMicrosoft Windows Bitmap formatted image
  • BTI — Nintendo 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 macOS. 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
  • OTB - 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
  • ZIF — Zoomable/Zoomify Image Format (a web-friendly, TIFF-based, zoomable image format)

Vector graphics

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

3D graphics

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

Links and shortcuts


Object code, executable files, shared and dynamically linked libraries

Object extensions

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

Page description language

Personal information manager


Project management software

Reference management software

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

Scientific data (data exchange)




Main article: chemical file format



Biomedical imaging

Biomedical signals (time series)

Other Biomedical Formats

Biometric Formats



Authentication and general encryption formats are listed here.

Certificates and keys


Encrypted files

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

Password files

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

Signal data (non-audio)

Sound and music

Lossless audio

Lossy audio

Music notation

Other music


Audio editing, music production

Source code for computer programs

(see also: Script)


Tabulated data


Main article: video file format

Video editing, production

Video game data

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

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.[18]

  • CIA — Installation File (.cia)
  • 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

Microsoft Virtual PC, Virtual Server

EMC VMware ESX, GSX, Workstation, Player


Parallels Workstation

Main article: Parallels Workstation



Markup languages other web standards-based file formats



Generalized files

General data formats

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

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

Binary files

Text files

Partial files

Differences and patches

Incomplete transfers

Temporary files

See also


  1. "What Is a Cabinet (.cab) File?". Microsoft.
  2. 1 2 "3D printing with Windows 10". Microsoft.
  3. " -- DataCAD Revision History".
  4. "Reagency Systems - easyOFFER the OREA and TREB real estate forms software solution details".
  5. "GML Format".
  6. 1 2 RSTS-11 System Users Guide (PDF) (DEC-11-ORSUA-D-D (RSTS/E V06A-02) ed.). Digital Equipment Corporation. 1975. pp. 2–16–2–17. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 "Setting Up and Using PuTTY".
  8. 1 2 3 "How To Convert Your Putty .ppk Private Key To A Normal SSH Key"
  9. 1 2 3 Leo Notenboom. "How do I create and use Public Keys with SSH?"
  10. "SAC Data File Format". Incorprated Research Institutions for Seismology.
  11. "Standard for the Exchange of Earthquake Data" (PDF). Data Formats. IRIS (Incorprated Research Institutions for Seismology). Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  12. "What is WIN system?" (in Japanese). Earthquake Observation Center, Earthquake Research Institute, U. Tokyo, Japan. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  13. "TAK".
  14. Tim Fisher. "BRSTM File (What It Is & How To Open One)". Tech.
  15. Computer Knowledge. "File Extension .AST Details".
  17. Computer Knowledge. "File Extension .VVVVVV Details".
  18. ".GCM file extension! [Archive] -".
  19. Computer Knowledge. "File Extension .CBP Details". Archived from the original on 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 090707

External links

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