File formats and extensions

October 2016

What is a MIME type?

The MIME type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a standard that was proposed by the Bell Communications laboratories in 1991 to broaden the possibilities of email, involving insertion of documents (images, sounds and text) into a message.

Since then, the MIME type is used to format both documents attached to a message and documents transferred by the HTTP protocol. Thus during a transaction between a web server and an internet browser, the web server first sends the MIME type of the file sent to the browser, so that the browser knows how to display the document.

A MIME type is comprised as follows:

Content-type: main_mime_type/mime_sub_type
A GIF image, for example, has the following MIME type:
Content-type: image/gif

List of MIME types

MIME Type Type of file Associated extension
application/acad AutoCAD files dwg
application/clariscad ClarisCAD files ccad
application/drafting Prelude drafting MATRA files drw
application/dxf AutoCAD files dxf
application/i-deas I-deas SDRC files unv
application/iges CAO IGES exchange format igs,iges
application/octet-stream Non-interpreted binary files bin
application/oda ODA files oda
application/pdf Adobe Acrobat files pdf
application/postscript PostScript files ai,eps,ps
application/pro_eng ProEngineer files prt
application/rtf Rich text format rtf
application/set CAO SET files set
application/sla Stereolithography files stl
application/solids Solids MATRA files dwg
application/step STEP data files step
application/vda Surface files vda
application/x-mif Framemaker files mif
application/x-csh C-Shell Script (UNIX) dwg
application/x-dvi Dvi text files dvi
application/hdf Data files hdf
application/x-latex LaTEX files latex
application/x-netcdf NetCDF files nc,cdf
application/x-sh Bourne Shell Script dwg
application/x-tcl Tcl script tcl
application/x-tex Tex files tex
application/x-texinfo eMacs files texinfo,texi
application/x-troff Troff files t,tr,troff
application/x-troff-man Troff/macro man files man
application/x-troff-me Troff/macro ME files me
application/x-troff-ms Troff/macro MS files ms
application/x-wais-source Wais Source src
application/x-bcpio Binary CPIO bcpio
application/x-cpio Posix CPIO cpio
application/x-gtar GNU tar gtar
application/x-shar Shell archives shar
application/x-sv4cpio SVR4n CPIO sv4cpio
application/x-sv4crc SVR4 CPIO with CRC sc4crc
application/x-tar Compressed tar files tar
application/x-ustar Compressed Posix tar files man
application/zip Compressed ZIP files man
audio/basic Basic audio files au,snd
audio/x-aiff AIFF audio files aif,aiff,aifc
audio/x-wav Wave audio files wav
image/gif Gif images man
image/ief Exchange format images ief
image/jpeg Jpeg images jpg,jpeg,jpe
image/tiff Tiff images tiff,tif
image/x-cmu-raster Cmu raster cmu
image/x-portable-anymap PBM Anymap files pnm
image/x-portable-bitmap PBM Bitmap files pbm
image/x-portable-graymap PBM Graymap files pgm
image/x-portable-pixmap PBM Pixmap files ppm
image/x-rgb RGB image rgb
image/x-xbitmap X Bitmap images xbm
image/x-xpixmap X Pixmap images xpm
image/x-xwindowdump X Window dump images man
multipart/x-zip Zip archive files zip
multipart/x-gzip GNU zip archive files gz,gzip
text/html HTML files htm,html
text/plain Unformatted text files txt,g,h,c,cc,hh,m,f90
text/richtext Rich text files rtx
text/tab-separated-value Text files with separation of values tsv
text/x-setext Struct text files etx
video/mpeg MPEG videos mpeg,mpg,mpe
video/quicktime QuickTime videos qt,mov
video/msvideo Microsoft Windows videos avi
video/x-sgi-movie MoviePlayer videos movie

Related :

Formatos y extensiones de archivos
Formatos y extensiones de archivos
Formate und Dateierweiterungen
Formate und Dateierweiterungen
Formats et extensions de fichiers
Formats et extensions de fichiers
Formati e estensioni di file
Formati e estensioni di file
Formato  de arquivos MIME
Formato de arquivos MIME
This document entitled « File formats and extensions » from CCM ( is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.