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Chapter 3. The Registry > Understanding File Types

3.11. Understanding File Types

The term File Types describes the collection of associations between documents and the applications that use them. The most apparent use of this feature is that, for example, Windows knows to run Notepad when you double-click on a file with the .txt extension. The traditional method for configuring these associations to suit your needs is discussed in Section 4.2.2 in Chapter 4, but it goes quite a bit deeper than that.

It all starts with file extensions, the letters (usually three) that follow the period in most filenames. For example, the extension of the file Readme.txt is .txt, signifying a plain text file; the extension of Resume.wpd is .wpd, signifying a document created in WordPerfect. By default, Windows hides the extensions of registered file types in Explorer and on the desktop, but it's best to have them displayed.


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