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How do I know what programs open which file extensions?

How can I find out what programs are supposed to open files of certain extension? For example, where can I go to get a definition of a .DAT file, and which program was originally used to open it?
The most comprehensive source for file extension definitions is the File Extension Source, where you can search by the three-letter extension. Some file extensions (like .DAT) are fairly common, however, and are shared by a number of applications.
This was last published in September 2003

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