.NAMES File Extension

Data Set Description File

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What is a NAMES file?

A NAMES file is a plain text file that contains a description of a database file with a .data file extension. It is similar to a .MANIFEST file used to store metadata about the contents packaged in a Windows application. NAMES files include various metadata, such as who collected the data, where the data was collected, past usage, citation requests, and attribute information.

More Information

Screenshot of a .names file in Microsoft Notepad
NAMES file open in Microsoft Notepad

You will most likely only encounter a NAMES file if you download a database from an online repository. The NAMES file is typically created by one of the conductors of the study that collected the data. He or she publishes it with the database to help users better understand the data they are viewing.

You can open the NAMES with any text editor. If you use Windows, you can open it with Notepad and if you use macOS, you can open it with TextEdit. Both programs are bundled with their respective operating systems.

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Programs that open NAMES files

Included with OS
Included with OS
Included with OS
Included with OS

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The FileInfo.com team has independently researched the Data Set Description file format and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS apps listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

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