Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How to Open Files

Files GibberishA couple staff have contacted me lately because they were having difficulty opening customer files. The cause of the problem was due to the fact that they were trying to use Word to open the file. And the type of file format that the customer wanted to view was not a Word document. They ended up getting gibberish like you see to the right.

Have you ever gotten that before? Basically, Word has no idea how to read the file, but he will try anyway. Much like if I tried to read a language I did not know or if I tried to explain abstract art. I'll give it a try, but you probably won't get anything useful.

So how do you know what program you are supposed to use? Just let the computer choose. Follow these instructions in this past MPLIC Tech Train blog post that explains how you use the Address Bar in Internet Explorer to view files on a customer's disk or flash drive. If you access the file directly, the computer will automatically use the best program to view the file.

In one instance, the customer wanted to view a PDF (or .pdf) file format. A PDF can only be displayed by a PDF reader, such as Adobe Reader. Click here for more information on PDFs.

In the other instance, the customer wanted to view a picture (generally a J-Peg aka .jpg file format, although many more image file formats exist).

FilesMicrosoft Word can only properly display certain types of file formats, mainly .doc files (document files).

There are many file formats out there. File format extensions can be found at the end of the file name. For example:

Healthy Websites.doc
Form 1040.pdf
Grand Canyon.jpg

For all you file format nuts out there, you can see this ENTIRE LIST OF ALL FILE TYPES...crazy.

See Also:

Search for the Format You Want

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