File Extensions

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Rockoar, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Rockoar macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    Paris (France)
    I would like to know if its mandatory to leave the file extensions on a file name when using a Mac runing OS X Mountain Lion. It's kind of a stupid question maybe but I'm kinda new to the Mac environment and I'm not really sure about how to handle this. Some files I created with MS Office for Mac have the ".docx" extension at the end of the name ("exemple.docx") but others don't have it, yet they open without problems. Can I erase the extension name or would I later have problems if I do so? Would this affect a file if transferred to a PC? Thanks in advance for your insight on this.
  2. switon, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

    switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE file extensions...

    Hi Rockoar,

    Personally, I would leave the file extensions on the files as they are created. The extensions make it easier for other apps to recognize what type of file a particular file is, although this information is also stored elsewhere, some apps do not use the alternative.

    You can set your Finder windows to not show the extensions (in the Finder Preferences pane) so that you will not see the extensions in Finder windows even when they are there.

  3. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    OS X does not strictly depend on file extensions, but does encourage their use, mostly for Windows compatibility, which DOES rely on extensions. If you're curious, OSX has at least 4 systems for determining what type a given file is: UNIX-style magic numbers, file extensions, Universal Type Identifiers (UTIs), and the legacy file type / creator codes.
  4. Rockoar thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    Paris (France)
    Thanks for both your clarifications! I'll leave them there then :)

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