How to Change a File Extension

Four Methods:Changing a File Extension in Nearly Any Software ProgramMaking File Extensions Visible on WindowsMaking File Extensions Visible on Windows 8Making File Extensions Visible on Mac OS X

File extensions tell your computer what a file is and what types of software programs on your computer should open the file. The easiest was to change a file's extension is to save the file as a different file type from within a software program. Changing the file extension in the file name won't change the file type, but will cause the computer to misidentify the file. In Windows and Mac OS X, file extensions are often hidden. This article describes how to save a file as another file type in almost any software program, as well as how to make the file extension visible in Windows and Mac OS X.

Method 1
Changing a File Extension in Nearly Any Software Program

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    Open a file in its default software program.
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    Click the File menu, and then click Save As.
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    Choose a location for the file to be saved.
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    Name the file.
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    In the Save As dialog box, look for a dropdown menu labeled Save As Type or Format.
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    Choose a new file type for the file from the dropdown menu.
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    Click the Save As button. The original file will still be open in the software program.
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    Find the new file where you chose to save it.

Method 2
Making File Extensions Visible on Windows

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    Open the Control Panel. Click the Start menu, and then click Control Panel. If you're using Windows 8, click here.
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    In the Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization.
    • On Windows 8, in the ribbon, click Options.
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    Click Folder Options.
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    In the Folder Options dialog box, click the View tab.
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    Make file extensions visible. In the Advanced settings list, scroll down until you see Hide extensions for known file types. Click the box to uncheck it.
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    Click on Apply, and then click OK.
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    Open the Windows Explorer file browser to see the file extensions.

Method 3
Making File Extensions Visible on Windows 8

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    Open Windows Explorer.
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    Click the View tab.
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    In the View/hide section, check the File name extensions box.
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    When you open a new Windows Explorer window, file extensions are visible.

Method 4
Making File Extensions Visible on Mac OS X

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    Select a Finder window or open a new Finder window. You can also click the Desktop to switch to the Finder.
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    Click the Finder menu, and then click Preferences.
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    In the Finder Preferences window, click Advanced.
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    Click the Show all filename extensions box to add a check.
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    Close the Finder Preferences window.
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    Open a new Finder window. The files will now show their file extensions.

Article Info

Categories: Basic Computer Skills