File extensions and file formats are often used interchangeably. In fact, however, file extensions only consist of characters that appear after a point, while the file format shows the way in which data is organized in files. Information about computers is stored in files. To distinguish between files that store various types of information file extensions, file extensions are short sequences of icons that indicate the format of storing information in the file.
With file extensions, you don’t need to search the file to find out what information is stored in it. All you have to do is look at the file extension and immediately know how to handle the file. For example, if the file extension is JPG, PNG, PCX, JPEG, or HEIC, you will immediately see that it is an image file. To open this file, you need a graph viewer or editor.
Knowing what is stored in a file not only helps end users, but also the operating system. When a user clicks twice or taps on a particular file to open it, the operating system can open files based on their file extension. This saves considerable processing time. Without file extensions, the operating system must look into the file and compare it to all known data formats to know which one to use.
File extensions are also very useful for finding files. For example, if you want to find all image files on your computer, file extensions make it very easy. The computer only needs to find the file whose file extension matches the image. Such searches can be done very quickly because there are no files that need to be opened.
When a new application is installed on a PC, the operating system is notified which file extension is supported. It is important for computers to know which applications to call when a user clicks on a particular file. If several applications are available, the computer offers users the choice to open the file.
File extensions are usually located at the end of the file name and separated by Dot (.) From the file name. For example, in picture1.jpg jpg is a file extension and picture1.jpg is a full file name.