When running a business, you’re likely to come across a number of common file types during your working day. Some of these will probably be familiar to you but others might cause confusion. The graph below shows you the most common file types, what they are and what their general purpose is.
||MS Word Document
||Word processing document that can contain text, images, tables, graphs and much more.
||MS Word Open XML Document
||Word processing document the same as the above but a newer, improved version
||Zip files are archives containing more than one file. It compresses files to save space and then must be unzipped if a user wants to view the internal files.
||A document file created by Apple Pages. It’s similar to a .DOC file but is in a ZIP format, so must be converted before it can be viewed in Windows.
||Rich Tex Format File
||A plain text format that allows text to be viewed on both Windows and Apple devices without the need for conversion.
||Plain Text File
||A standard text file that contains unformatted text. It can be used on all operating systems and on most devices (i.e. mobile phones and tablets).
||An editable slide show that can contain formatted text, image, movies and sound.
||Popular spreadsheet file which stores data in charts and worksheets. Commonly used for financial info.
||Excel Open XML Spreadsheet
||This file is the modernised version of the above document. It can be smaller and less prone to corruption.
||A temporary file that is normally created automatically by software you have installed. Often used as a backup or CACHE file.
||An image file that can only be opened in Photoshop. Usually contains image layers, annotation, layer masks and other program specific elements.
||Portable Document File
||A multiplatform document used to save documents and publications. PDFs are usually created from other files, rather than from scratch, as they are easily transferable.
From time to time you may need to convert or unzip files so that they can be viewed with ease. It’s not always easy or time efficient to do this manually but there websites and software that can help for free.
Convert.Files is a free online converter that lets you convert popular formats to other formats with ease. With Convert.Files, you can also convert online files by copying the URL link into the search box. Once your file is converted, you’ll be sent a link to retrieve it by email.
Online2 PDF is a multilingual converter that will convert most text file types to PDF. It can also support other formats such as PowerPoint, Publisher and many more. You can also edit, compress, split and merge files with this converter, making it a really useful tool.
WinZip is a piece of software that allows you to unzip .ZIP files and compress other documents into .ZIP files. You’ll also get simple management for local and cloud files, as well as easy sharing via email. WinZip isn’t free but you can download a free trial to see if it’s for you.
It’s good to know how to manually convert some files but that’s not always an option, especially if you’re busy. Instead, make use of the free software and online sites available and let them do the hard work for you.