File Extension Formats

I have always had some problem with remembering which file extensions go with which software programs so here’s a list of some common file formats: 

AVI:  Audio Video Interleave most often used with Apple Quick Time and Windows Media Player.

DOC:  Microsoft Word Document.

FDB: Legacy Family Tree.

FTW: Family Tree Maker.

GED: Gedcom which is short for Genealogical Data Communications. Gedcom files are the standard file format that any family tree program can open.

GIF: Graphics Interchange Format developed by Compuserve for storing bitmap impages and used with most image editing software for most Web graphics.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Languarge: main programming language for publishing information on the Internet.

JPEG: (aka JPG) Joint Photographic Experts Group-widely used format for bitmap photographic images because of its ability to display millons of colors.

MP3: Audio format that compresses sound clips into small files without affecting quality and used on portable devices such as the iPod.

PAF: Personal Ancestral File

PDF: Portable Document Format, makes viewing documents exactly as designed on any output device. PDF files can be viewed from free with the Adobe Reader from

PJC: The Master Genealogist

PNG: Portable Network Graphics used as a replacement for GIF files and used for the same files but PNG files are compressed better tosmaller file sizes of equal quality and most image editing software can open them.

RMG: RootsMagic

RMCG: RootsMagic Version 4

TIFF: Tagged Image File Format is for bitmap (pixal-based) images like photographs and is better for print and not Web use.

TXT: Plain-text files with very little formating commonly used in simple text editors like Windows Notepad.

WAV: Wave form is standard format for storing audio on a PC and can be played on either Windows or Mac.

WMA: Windows Media Audio is smaller files than WAV

ZIP: compresses documents into one file for sharing or archiving.

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