From previous discussions, you know that the Windows Search service is designed to index:
• Filenames and folder names
• File and folder properties
• File and folder contents
What you don't know is how the Windows Search service determines which types of files and folders to index. It does so according to the file extension.
File extensions and file types go hand in hand. File type associations determine what type of data is stored in a file and how the file should be handled when opened. When you open most types of files, a helper application handles the display of the file. For example, when you open a document file with the .doc extension, Microsoft Office Word is used to display the document.
The Windows Search service uses the information that it knows about file types and file extensions to help it index files more efficiently. More specifically, Windows 7 assigns a file filter to each file extension, and this filter determines exactly how files with a particular extension are indexed.
Table 6-2 provides an overview of the standard file filters. As you install additional applications on your computer, additional file filters may be installed as well to improve indexing of related application files.
Table 6-2. File filters used by the Windows Search service
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