Most of you know that files names in Windows consist of two parts: the file name proper and the file extension. These are separated by the period (dot) and that’s why it’s not a good idea to use this character in the file name itself. File extensions in Windows 7, and a few earlier versions of the operating system, are generally 3 to 4 characters in length and are used to specify the file type.
Anyway, by default Windows Explorer in the Windows 7 operating system does not show the file extension. You cannot get the file extension even when you choose the “Details” option from the “View” menu. The icon of the file identifies it and lets you know which program the file is associated with. Thus, Microsoft Excel documents carry the Excel icon.
There are many good reasons why the file extension is hidden in Windows Explorer. There is seldom any need to have it displayed because the job of specifying the file type is done by the icon. The casual computer user may spend his entire life in front of the machine and not have any use for this extra information.
The most important reason why the file extension is not shown is because changing it may render the file useless. For instance, if you change the file extension from .doc to .jpg, you’ll have trouble viewing the document because it is no longer associated with the Microsoft Word program.
To get the file extension to display in Windows Explorer in Windows 7, you need to fiddle around with the settings in the Control Panel. No need to fret because it’s actually quite simple.
Now you’ll always get the file extension in the Windows Explorer whichever view mode you choose – Large Icons, Details or List.
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