Find your way in the jungle of file extensions

As web developers, web designers, graphic artists or information architects, we deal daily with a lot of documents. Files, applications, archives, that’s a lot of information. We also exchange a lot of data with colleagues, co-workers, contractors, freelances… And in this mass of data, sometimes there are pieces we don’t know. What if you’re sent an obscure .ABT document and don’t have a single clue what this file format is? Of course, you can Google it, but wouldn’t it be nice to always be able to open any file you have, regardless if you have its native mother application or not? Now it’s possible, thanks to! provides detailed information about most file extension and links to free programs that can open and create each type of file. There are plenty of great programs out there that will cost you hundreds to do what you need. What you probably don’t know is that there is usually free or open-source software that is just as good. is a little piece of (free) software that provides detailed information on most of the file formats you can meet in your life. Most important, it also provides links to free or open-source software that, once installed on your machine, will allow you to open (and most of the times, also manipulate) the files. All it takes is a right-click on the document in your favourite files explorer, and then select “How do I Open This?” from the popup menu. A couple of seconds later, you’ll know what that infamous .ABT document is, and what you’ll need to open it. currently recognizes more than 120 different formats, and more are regularly added as the application gets updated. It’s definitely a must-have utility for every professional out there.

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