About File Formats

Problem Formats

The following formats may be difficult to render or otherwise access in the Texas Digital Archive. Follow the link for more information about the file format:

Please see the detailed format list below for a list of programs that may help in accessing the specific file format.

Standardized formats in the Texas Digital Archive

The following is a list of file formats that the Texas Digital Archive will try to normalize (migrate) records to, for ease of access by the general public.

  • Audio: .mp3
  • Video: .mp4
  • Still Image: .gif, .jpg, .tiff or .png
  • Text: .pdf/a (text-only), .ods (spreadsheets), .pdf/a (presentations)

Please note that migration to an easily accessible format may not be possible and records in the publicly accessible portion of the TDA may include other format types.

Formats in the Texas Digital Archive

To facilitate access, the Texas Digital Archive attempts to migrate records to a limited set of file formats that are common enough to be accessible by most public users. In some cases this migration is not possible and the file format may be difficult for users to access. The following list includes all file formats in the Texas Digital Archive, as well as links to programs and plug-ins that will render the file format. Not every program capable of rendering a format is listed, and preference is given to programs that are either free or open-source.*

Audio Image Video Text Web-based

 

Audio

File Extension Description Software capable of reading file
.aif  Audio Interchange File Format. A standardized audio format especially common in Apple computers.

Most audio players, including VLC Media Player.

.au  An Audacity file format. Each file in this format contains a short audio clip. Audacity uses an .aup XML file to compile the audio clips into a full recording.

 Audacity

.bwf  Broadcast Wave. The preservation standard version of the .wav format. A Broadcast Wave file may have either the .wav or .bwf file extension.

Most audio players, including VLC Media Player.

.mp3 MPEG-1 (or MPEG-2), audio layer III. A standardized format that uses a computer trick to reduce audio quality enough to create a relatively small file size.

Most audio players, including VLC Media Player.

.wav  Waveform Audio (Wave). This general format has a wide variety of sub-types and audio quality options. Due to it ubiquitous nature, it is the current (2015) de-facto  standard for audio recordings. The preservation version of a .wav file is referred to as Broadcast Wave and occasionally has the extension .bwf.

Most audio players, including VLC Media Player.

Image

File Extension Description Software capable of reading file
.ccx Corel Compressed Exchange Clipart. A CorelDraw file format that is no longer actively supported, but may be accessible using current versions of CorelDraw.

CorelDraw

.cr2 Canon RAW version 2 file format. This is a digital image file format developed by Canon for digital photography.

All operating systems: Picasa

.gif  Graphics Interchange Format. A file format developed for the internet, can support animation.

Mozilla Firefox, or other internet browsers.

.ini For images, a file used by the Picasa computer program for manipulating images. Does not contain the image itself.

Picasa

.jpg  Joint Photographic Experts Group. This format uses a computer trick (compression) to save space compared to a .tiff file. Image quality can vary.

 All operating systems: Picasa

.pcd  Kodak Photo CD Image. A raster-type image by Kodak for professional level photography.

Manipulation software by Kodak. All operating systems: Picasa

.psd  Adobe Photoshop format. This format is used by Adobe Photoshop to manipulate images. Supports layers to track changes in images as manipulation is done.

 Originating software: Adobe Photoshop(paid). All operating systems: Picasa

.thm A Digital Camera File complementary to the full image stored in the camera. Thumbnail file.

Mozilla Firefox, or other internet browsers.

.tiff Tagged Image File Format. A format that uses a color code for every pixel in an image, resulting in a very accurate but large file size

 All operating systems: Picasa

Video

File Extension Description Software capable of reading file
.bup  A backup version of the DVD-video information file format .ifo. This file type has the same functionality as the .ifo file.

See entry for .ifo and .vob formats.

.dv  Digital Video format. Common in camcorders, the format is usually (but not always) used for recording digital video on magnetic tape.

All operating systems: VLC Media Player

.flv  Flash Video. A format specifically made for use with Adobe Flash Player for delivery of video over the internet using the Flashplayer plugin.

Internet browser software plugin (requires a web-browser): Flash Player.

Video player: VLC Media Player

.ifo The information file for a DVD-Video disc that tells a DVD player where to find the content for disc. Used in coordination with a .vob video file.

Any DVD player, when burned to disc with corresponding .vob file in folder named VIDEO_TS

.m4v  A variation on the .mp4 file format, and common with videos from Apple. Uses the MPEG-4 standard for video encoding.

All operating systems: VLC Media Player

.mov  The QuickTime file format. Developed by Apple, QuickTime .mov is primarily used for audio/video. QuickTime video may also have .qt file extension. Playback may not be supported in some programs.

Originating software: QuickTime.

Video player: VLC Media Player

.mpg Motion Picture Experts Group (-1 or -2). A digital video and audio format. Typically it contains both audio and video streams.

All operating systems: VLC Media Player

.vob Video Object file. A sub-type of the MPEG-2 format, used commonly in DVD-video disc. Can be played on its own, used in coordination with the correct .ifo file, can be played as intended on a DVD disc.

Any DVD player, when burned to disc with corresponding .ifo file in folder named VIDEO_TS

All operating systems: VLC Media Player

.wmv Windows Media Video. A standard Microsoft Windows-based video format. It is a subtype of the .asf file format and is compatible with streaming.

 All operating systems: VLC Media Player

Text

File Extension Description Software capable of reading file
.doc Microsoft Word Document file format. Proprietary format created by Microsoft for its Word office productivity software. Depending on the record age and content, it may not render as originally created in either the current version of Word or alternative software.

Originating software. Microsoft Word.Alternative software: OpenOffice

.ods Open Document Spreadsheet. An open-standards spreadsheet format similar to spreadsheet programs like Excel.

All operating systems: OpenOffice

.pdf/a Portable Document Format-Archival. A self-describing version of the Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format. Many programs other than Adobe Acrobat can create a .pdf/a file.

All operating systems: Adobe Acrobat Reader

.rtf  Rich Text Format. Developed by Microsoft as a companion to the Word document. An .rtf file has more features than a plain text file, but not as many as a Word document.

All operating systems: OpenOffice

Web-based

File Extension Description Software capable of reading file
.html, .htm Hypertext Markup Language format. The format consists of a plain text file (using the .html file extension) with tags “marking up” text to instruct a web-browser on how to render the file. To view the intended result, use a web-browser; to view the actual text file, use a text-editor.

File view as intended: Mozilla Firefox, or other internet browsers.File view as created: any text-editor

*The list of programs capable of rendering a format is provided to enable public access to records, and is not meant to endorse any specific software product. The list of programs has been intentionally limited to those with the broadest usability to maximize use while minimizing the need to install additional programs.