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Chapter 7. Advanced File Management Tech... > Associating Files with Programs

Associating Files with Programs

When you attempt to open an icon, Windows checks the file's extension against a database of registered file types to determine what action to take. A registered file type can have multiple actions (open and print, for example), all of which are available on the right-click shortcut menus. Windows uses the default action when you launch the icon. If Windows does not recognize the file type, it offers a dialog box and lets you choose which application to use with the file you've selected.

File extensions have been around since the very first version of DOS. Beginning with the first release of Windows 95, Microsoft began tracking file types as well. File types are inextricably linked to file extensions, but the relationship isn't always easy to understand. Here are the essential facts you need to know:


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