To identify different types of file formats from each other, Windows provides us with a different icon for each file type. For instance, a text file will have a different icon than that of a music or video file. However, not all file types have different icons. You cannot differentiate a TXT file from an RTF file just by looking at its icon. To know which is which, you will have to look at its file extension. To enable viewing of file extensions, you have to open Folder Options, locate the Hide Extensions for Known File Types and uncheck it. It adds the extension abbreviation at the end of the file name. When you are done, you can go back and check the option again to hide the file extensions from appearing in the file name. This is easy if you have to do it only once in a while, but if you are required to do this regularly, it can be a tedious and time-wasting task. Luckily for you, we have found a tool that can save your time by allowing you to toggle this option through a hotkey. Hifito is an open source utility for Windows that lets you quickly toggle the Hide Extensions for Known File Types and Show Hidden Files options found under the Folder Options. More on Hifito after the jump.
It allows you to turn both the options on and off, either from its system tray menu, or by using a hotkey. After executing the application, you can access its system tray menu by right-clicking the system tray icon. Select Show Hidden Files or Show File Extensions to enable and disable them.
From the right click menu, choose Setup to specify custom hotkeys for both options. By default, Ctrl + Alt + H is selected for toggling Show Hidden Files, while Ctrl + Alt + E is selected for toggling Show File Extensions. Moreover, you can also choose if you want to see balloon notifications on your desktop every time you enable or disable the visibility of Hidden Files or File Name Extensions.
When you use the hotkeys, you will be able to see the changes in real time. This allows you to save a lot of time wasted in navigating to the Show Hidden Files, and Show File Name Extension options through the Folder Options dialog box.
Hifito is a portable tool and works on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.