Long time back, I had written about a tiny utility called TrIDNet which could analyse any file (with missing or incorrect extension) and identify its correct extension. But what if you already know the correct file type but just can’t figure out how to open the file? You could always try your luck with Microsoft Application Search, but that doesn’t always find what you were looking for. For example Microsoft Application Search failed to identify a C# source code.
A better option is to use OpenWith.org. OpenWith.org provides a free desktop utility that integrates itself with your shell context menu. Whenever you come across a file type you don’t recognise simply right click on the file and select “OpenWith.Org – How do I Open This?”. OpenWith.Org Desktop Application will open and display a list of applications installed on your computer which can open the file. If it doesn’t detect any supported applications on your system it will provide you with download links for required (freeware) applications.
OpenWith’s database is bigger than Microsoft’s but it definitely needs more work. It managed to provide accurate information about .XPI (Firefox Extension) or .EPS (Encapsulated Postscript Image) files but failed to detect many common formats like .AIR (Adobe AIR applications), .LIT (Microsoft Reader eBook) and .SLN (Microsoft Visual Studio Solution). OpenWith.org doesn’t even come close to FileExt.com’s database. In fact if you don’t mind searching stuff manually on the web FileExt.com is still the best option. However, OpenWith.org works well enough with fairly common applications. One of its weaknesses is that it only features freeware applications. But that is also its strength. A basic user will prefer OpenWith over FileExt since the former directly provides him with download links to required free utilities. To be honest, if you are reading this blog chances are that you don’t need an application like this. However, your less tech savvy friends or family members may find them useful. Installing OpenWith Desktop Application on their computers can save them the trouble of emailing you every time they download an alien file from the internet.
Download OpenWith.Org Desktop Utility (2.34 MB)
Platforms Supported : Windows All
License : Freeware