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File Naming Convention 

Every files stored on your computer should consist of two parts, firstly the file and followed by the file type.  The file type is often not displayed in File Explorer unless you have specifically set it to be displayed by default.  As an example a file named "Myletter.docx", may only appear as "Myfile" in File Explorer.  The period "." shows where the file name ends and the file type begins, hence in the example the file type is "docx", signifying that it is a Word document, and would normally be opened by Microsoft Word.  If the files was named "Myletter.pdf", the file type would indicate that it is a Adobe file.  PDF stands for Portable Document Format and all files with this extension i.e. the bit after the period would unsually open in Adobe Reader.

There are very many files types and each is associated to a program to allow them to be opened.  A list of file types can be found on the Internet.

File Type Association

All files need to be associated to a program installed on your computer for them to be opened/accessed properly.  If you try to open a file that is not associated with a compatible program you will see a message asking you to fine a program to associate it with.  Be cautious in selecting a program as wrong association can lead to intelligible information being displayed.  Also when associating a file type with a program, DO NOT set it to always open with the associated program, unless you are absolutely sure it is the correct program.  There is usually a box to tick to say "Always open with...".

In Windows 10 file associations are covered by Default Apps in System Settings (System/Settings/Apps/Default Apps) and from there you may need to select "Choose default applications by file type".  When you are in the dauflt applications by file type window, just scroll to the file type you want to associate with a program on the left side of the window and theh click the item to the right (it may be a + sign) and a list of programs should appear.

In Windows 7 files associations can be located in the Control Panel under default programs.