File Formats on Web Sites

There are quite a few file formats that you may run into here and on other web sites. The "Online Resources" page includes links to a wide range of software and documents prepared by authors using different software and different types of computers. This summary of file formats is provided to help you understand what the different kinds of files are used for and what tools can be used on different types of computers to work with the files. There are quite a few more fomats out on the net, but these are the ones you're likely to bump into on the Brewery server.

If you're a PC user, you would be well-served to get the program WinZIP, which can handle a wide range of common archive formats. Macintosh users would do well to get Stuffit Expander, which also has a companion suite called Expander Enhancer to handle most of the formats you'd find on the net. Windows 95 and NT 4.0 users may want to look at VisualZIP Pro32. Addresses of sites from which these programs can be downloaded are available at the end of this document.

Compression Formats

Large files are often compressed to save disk space and reduce file transfer times. Some of the compression formats on this server area:

Binary Formats

Executable programs (binaries) are here for different platforms. These are identified as such and should need no special processing to handle, except that you should make sure that you've got a program that's really intended for your operating system.

Document Formats

Most documents on the Brewery server are provided in HTML format---the language of the web. Occasionally there will be a file in straight ASCII text. On the "Online Resources" (and occasionally on others), you'll find documents that are layed out (formatted) where the look of the document is important (for example, worksheets and forms). These require other software to read.

Image Formats

Most images on the Brewery are GIF (Graphical Interchange Format) files. All web browsers that display graphics can handle GIF images. The files can also be viewed using a wide range of external graphic viewer programs.

Sound Formats

The sound files on the Brewery web server are Sun audio files (.au).

Where to Find Utilities

Adobe Acrobat
Readers available free over the net. Writers available from commercial sources. Available for Unix, Macintosh, PC.

BinHex 13


StuffIt Expander
Mac program for handling compressed files

Mac program for handling Unix tar files
gopher:// sit.hq

TeX and LaTeX
Warning: This is a huge, complex system that is difficult to learn and use. Use at your own risk.

UU Undo
Mac program to handle uuencoded files

VisualZIP Pro32
Extension for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 that allows Explorer to operate on zip files as if they were folders. Supports other features as well.

PC program (Windows 3.x) to handle several compression formats.

[Back] Back to the Brewery
Mark Stevens,