FILE TYPES in Application View Windows 98
(Windows 95 similar) 
 Lesson 9
| Directory | Disclaimer |
Whenever you are working in an application and you want to either "Open" or "Save" a file, the file type is a consideration.  The application will tell you what files it is capable of opening or saving in the "Files of type" box at the bottom. By designating the type it reduces your choices for selection in any given directory. This is a "Word" app and the default file is ".doc"file. The "Look in:" box says we are in the "Office" directory and it lists only 1 ".doc" file. By changing the "Files of type:" will restrict your selection to the type you want or expand to include "All Files" that includes files that may or may not be opened by this application. By reading the extension and comparing it with the "Files of type" displayed will tell you if this app will open that file. Note the file name that is grayed out is the default file that will open without selecting it. When you select it, it will turn blue. If white than no files are selected.
This example is common for programs that are written for windows and similar to Windows 95.  The more powerful the application, the more ability to open files written and saved in another app.  Note: even though you may be able to read the file, the formatting may not be supported to edit the file. However, what you read can normally be formatted and saved as as that application file with file type that is now compatible for editing.

The "Files of type" selection when opening a file limits your selection to the type that is selected in this box.  "MS Word" default file type selection is normally a ".doc" type therefore the program will only sort out and show ".doc" files to select.  If you want this program to open  file with a different Type designation you will have to select another category in this box. Doing so, will automatically show only those files from the selection box.  Note that the box when open, tells you what type   of files this program will open.  If it is not on the list, it is likely it won't open the file.  "All Files" selection here will present you with all the files in the folder displayed in the "Look in" box at the top of the form.  Let's talk about the "Look in" box at the top. It selects only folders or directories that you expect to find your file in and is part of the directory or Tree file system.  You have to go to the right folder to find your file.  Don't know which folder your file is in?  The next two lessons will tell you how you can find it through a quick search with the "Find" utility..

Notes on File Types and their importance 
File extensions are designations of file type.  An  identity that matches the appropriate program that the file needs to operate correctly.  As a result the filing system can store the files any where the operator feels it is beneficial. A novice can open a file from the Windows Explorer without knowing the program it runs in and the file extension will tell the CPU to open the default program that actually executes the file. 
    Once you become oriented with the Formatting and file construction of the type of file you are involved with, you will have an understanding how you may convert and transfer the file data to a file that is normally non-compatible and eliminate the need for manual entry. Note: not all files have a default program.  There are some files that are hidden from the Windows Explorer normally to avoid accidentally changing settings that will affect the operation of your computer. These settings are for technicians and the knowledgeable. Best advice in not to open if found.  
An additional benefit of knowing the file type and the associated extension will help you find a file you are looking for.   This all comes with experience.

Here are some examples of file types.
 gif Rasterized picture  cdr CorelDraw
 bmp Rasterized picture  mdb MS Access
 jpg Rasterized picture  xls MS Excel
 pds Adobe Photoshop  txt Data file only
 doc Word/WordPerfect  exe Executable File
 zip Compression file  html Web File

Let's continue with techniques to find files and the use of the "Find" utility in Windows. 
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