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At my company we work with a lot PDF files. We rename them often; hundreds of pdf files a week and almost all of them have to be renamed.

I have always configured windows to show file extensions. However with Windows XP, pressing F2 to rename a file requires you to account for the extension. You either have to retype the extension when you are retyping the filename or re-select the portion of the files name without the .extension. With the amount of files we rename, you can see how this wastes a lot of time

I'm considering hiding file extensions, are there any negative consequences?

I know the obvious reasons like funnypic.jpg.exe would only show up as funnypic.jpg. But if a user is going to click on that file they're going to do it no matter what the extension is.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I feel your pain, and it's for that exact reason that I turned Extensions off, and I've never run into any problems. In fact, doing phone support is much easier, because you don't need to bother with telling the person to re-type the extension.

Vista and Windows 7 automatically deselect the extension when pressing F2, but that's a bit like hitting a thumbtack with a sledgehammer.

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that's the one thing that annoys me about using XP after having used Vista/7... – davidsleeps Jan 5 '10 at 22:54
There are several utilities out there that replicate the behaviour under XP. is the one I use. – David Spillett Jan 9 '10 at 20:04

My first thought is that you would better invest your time in coming up with a more automated way to rename your files. But, admittedly, I don't know exactly what your scenario is (if it's even something worth automating).

The only thing that I can think of (other than the security thing you mention) would be messed up program associations, but that doesn't really happen all that often.

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It is something we've thought about (renaming better), but the scenario is fairly complex and the ubiquity of the windows file system has many advantages (file save dialog boxes, etc). – David Steven Jan 5 '10 at 21:11

Hidden file extensions are a pain for several reasons, not least (as you mention) the fact that they can help certain "human engineering" exploiting security flaws.

I use this utility which can alter the default file renaming behaviour so that the first F2 selects just the main filename, the second selects the extension, and the thirst selects the whole name. This may be enough to solve your current irritation. I tweaks Windows in many other ways to, some of which you may dislike, but all the tweaks can be turned off so you can just chose the one(s) you do want.

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I find two "features" of that tool very... interesting: "Disable Windows key" (the only useful thing Microsoft has contributed to the hardware arena), and "Calculate Moon's age" - wtf? – Mark Henderson Jan 5 '10 at 21:44
Even better than the Windows key (which I've actually found uses for), it can disable the caps-lock key. Disabling caps-lock is why I downloaded it to try in the first place some moons ago. For further essentially pointless features, it can calculate the distance your mouse has travelled in a given time and other such stats too... – David Spillett Jan 5 '10 at 22:10
Curious what are other reasons besides the one I already mentioned. – David Steven Jan 5 '10 at 22:19
I remember Windows 98 Plus! pack had that "mouse distance" feature. I don't know about others but I use the Win key more regularly than I use the Alt key I think (Win+E, Win+R, Win+D, Win+F) – Mark Henderson Jan 6 '10 at 0:16

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