How to: Add and Delete Document Types and Associated File Extensions in the File Types Editor

The File Types Editor can be used to specify document types and file extensions that will be associated with your application when it is installed on a target computer. Once installed, the extension and file type description will appear in the file types list in Windows.

There are three steps involved in associating a file type with your application: adding a document type, associating a file extension, and associating an executable file.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

To add a document type

  1. Select the File Types on Target Machine node in the File Types Editor.

  2. On the Action menu, click Add File Type.

    A new document type node is added and the default name is highlighted.

  3. Type a descriptive name for the new document type.

To associate a file extension

  1. Select a Document Type node in the File Types Editor.

  2. In the Properties window, select the Extensions property and type an extension.


    Valid file extensions cannot be preceded by a period — enter the extension using the form xxx rather than .xxx. You can enter multiple extensions by separating them with a semicolon (xxx;yyy).

To associate an executable file

  1. Select a Document Type node in the File Types Editor.

  2. In the Properties window, click the ellipsis (...) button next to the Command property.

  3. In the Select item in project dialog box, click the Add File button.

  4. Select an executable file to associate with the file type.


    A file type can only be associated with one installed executable file. To associate more than one executable file with a file type, you must first specify conditions for each executable file to ensure that only one will be installed for a given installation. For more information, see How to: Set Installation Conditions for a File in a Deployment Project.

To delete a document type

  • Select the Document Type in the File Types Editor, and choose Delete from the Edit menu.

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