Technical Requirements

To best view and use the sites, MIT OpenCourseWare has adopted the following guidelines:

  • Our course sites work on the Macintosh, Unix, and Windows platforms.
  • Although higher-speed connections are preferable, slower connections, such as 28.8 kbps modems, should allow users to view most materials on the sites; however, downloading materials will take a longer period of time.
  • Supported Browsers: MIT OpenCourseWare has tested the course sites with the following browsers:
    • Chrome 20+ (all platforms)
    • Firefox 13+ (all platforms)
    • Internet Explorer 8.0+ (Windows)
    • Safari 5.1+ (Mac OSX)
  • Due to rapid development in the open source world, there may be other open source software packages that will work as well as of any of those suggested below. We are unable to offer technical support for any of the suggested software.
  • If you encounter difficulties, please contact MIT OpenCourseWare with the feedback form.

Some special content filetypes require specialized software to use; an extensive list is included below:

File Types Software Tool Suggestions
.ai Adobe Illustrator must be used to edit these vector graphic files.
.aif, .aiff Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF). Any media player or sound editor program can be used to view the .aif files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.asc Any text editor can be used to view the .asc files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.avi Media player software, such as QuickTime Player, Real Media Player, or Windows Media Player, is required to run the .avi files found on a course site.
.bat Any text editor can be used to view the .bat files found on a course site. These files are also executable. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.bin File decompression software, such as Winzip or StuffIt , is required to open the .bin files found on a course site.
.bmp Any number of image viewers can be used to view the .bmp files found on a course site
.c Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .c files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.cbp Central Builder Project files are associated with C++ and can be opened with any text editor.
.cc Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .cc files, C++ source code, found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.cif A standard filetype sponsored by IUCr, used by various software and tools.
.cir These files can be read using PSPICE Schematics, available from Cadence, Inc.
.class Java Virtual Machine software (automatically installed in most major Web browsers) is required to run the .class files found on a course site.
.cnf Any text editor can be used to view the .cnf files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.cpp C++ source code can be opened with any text editor.
.coor Any text editor can be used to view the .coor files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.csv Any number of software tools can be used to import the .csv files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.ctd MATLAB software is required to make use of the .ctd files found on a course site. NOTE: This is not a unique MATLAB extension. Please verify it is for use in MATLAB before using these statements.
.dat, .data Any number of software tools can be used to import the .dat files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.db .db files are generic database files that store data in a structured format. They can be read by any number of database programs.
.dbf ArcView software is required to open and work with .dbf files, although they can also be opened with Microsoft Excel software.
.dcd The DCD files are single precision binary FORTRAN files the format is supported by a wide range of analysis and display programs (such as VMD and NAMD).
.dcm An image format created by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) as a standard for distributing and viewing medical images, such as MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasound images.
.dcr Shockwave Player software is required to run the Shockwave media found on a course site.
.dll Any number of programs can call the .dll files found on a course site. These files are also executable. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.dict Any number of text editors can be used view the .dict files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.dmg Apple Disk Images are used by the Mac OS X operating system. Use the Disk Utility app to open these.
.do The STATA statistical package is required to view and run the .do files found on a course site.
.doc Microsoft Word software is recommended for viewing the .doc files found on a course site. Free Microsoft Word Viewer software, OpenOffice Writer, and AbiWord can also be used to view the .doc files.
.ds DataStudio Software is required to run the .ds files found on a course site.
.dta The STATA statistical package is required to view and run the .dta files found on a course site.
.dvi These are supporting files used in conjunction with TeX documents. No additional software is required if you can already open or edit the primary document file.
.dxf These are supporting files that allow computer-aided design (CAD) projects to operate across many different software packages. No additional software is required if you can already open or edit the primary document file.
.el Lisp source code is primarily associated with Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language used by the GNU Emacs and XEmacs text editors. It can be opened with any text editor.
.eps Ghostscript/Ghostview, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator are among the software tools that can be used to view the .eps files found on a course site.
.exe The .exe files found on a course site are executable programs. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.fa, .fas, .fasta Any number of biological sequence comparison software tools can be used to import the FASTA formatted sequence (.fa) files found on a course site.
FEFLOW FEFLOW software is required to complete work on a course site.
.fig MATLAB software is required to view and run the .fig files (MATLAB graphics files) found on a course site.
.fin .fin fles are data offset tables and can be opened using any text edior.
.fits Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) is a digital file format used to store, transmit, and manipulate scientific and other images. FITS is the most commonly used digital file format in astronomy. DS9 is an application that supports these files and is available for free download.
.f90 Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .f90 FORTRAN 90 files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.for Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .for FORTRAN files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.fortran, .f Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .fortran files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.fna Any number of biological sequence comparison software tools can be used to import the FASTA formatted sequence (.fna) files found on a course site.
.gff GFF is a format for describing genes and other features associated with DNA, RNA and protein sequences. The current specification and several software applications can be found here.
.gblorb These compiled versions of .ni files can be run with an interpreter such as Frotz.
.gph The STATA statistical package is required to view and run the .gph files found on a course site.
.gz File decompression software, such as Winzip, 7-zip or StuffIt, is required to open the .gz files found on a course site.
.h Header files for .c programs. Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .h files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.hs Haskell compiler software is required to run the .hs files found on a course site.
.idb This filetype is associated with ADINA, the FEA modeling software developed by Prof. Klaus-Jürgen Bathe.
.igs .igs is a CAD translation standard ASCII text-based format for saving and exporting vector data.
.in This filetype is associated with ADINA, the FEA modeling software developed by Prof. Klaus-Jürgen Bathe. Any text editor can be used to view the contents of the .in files found on a course site.
.iv The ivview program from SGI Open Inventor toolkit is required to view the .iv files found on a course site.
.jar Java plug-in software is required to run the Java files found on a course site.
.java Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .java files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.jmp JMP Statistical Discovery Software is required to run the JMP files found on a course site.
.jnlp Java Web Start software is required to run the Java files found on a course site.
.jsim JSim is a computer-aided design tool that provides a simple editor for entering a circuit description, programs to simulate circuits, and a waveform browser to view the results of a simulation.
.key Keynote, a component of iWork, is required for viewing .key files.
.kml Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is an XML-based language schema for expressing geographic annotation and visualization on existing or future Web-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers.
.lad MATLAB software is required to make use of the .lad files found on a course site. NOTE: This is not a unique MATLAB extension. Please verify it is for use in MATLAB before using these statements.
.ldf Microsoft SQL Server is required to make use of the .ldf files found on a course site. Free Microsoft SQL Server Express can also be used with the .ldf files.
.lib These files can be read using PSPICE Schematics, available from Cadence, Inc.
.lisp Allegro Common Lisp software is required to run the .lisp files found on a course site.
.loc MATLAB software is required to make use of the .loc files found on a course site. NOTE: This is not a unique MATLAB extension. Please verify it is for use in MATLAB before using these statements.
.m MATLAB software is required to run the .m files found on a course site. Additional toolbox plug-ins may also be required as noted on a course site. Any text editor can be used to view the contents of the .m files found on a course site.

GNU Octave can also be used to run some .m files.
.mat MATLAB software is required to view and run the .mat files found on a course site.
.mcd Mathcad software is required to view and run the .mcd files found on a course site.
.mdb Microsoft Access software is recommended for viewing the .mdb files found on a course site. Free Microsoft Access viewer software can also be used to view the .mdb files.
.mdf Microsoft SQL Server is required to make use of the .mdf files found on a course site. Free Microsoft SQL Server Express can also be used with the .mdf files.
.mdl MATLAB software is required to run the .mdl files found on a course site.
.mf These are metafont text or source files. To use these files, you need a typesetting program that can read the font such as TeX or Metafont. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.mid, .midi TMedia player software, such as QuickTime Player, Real Media Player, or Windows Media Player is required to run the MIDI files found on a course site.
.mnc MINC is a medical imaging oriented extension of the NetCDF file format. NetCDF stands for "Network Common Data Form" and it is widely used in many areas of scientific data storage.
.mod Any number of programs can be used to run the .mod files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.mov QuickTime Player software is required to view the .mov files found on a course site.
.movie QuickTime Player software is required to view the .movie files found on a course site.
.mp MetaPost is a picture-drawing language that outputs Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) files.
.mpp Project management software, such as Microsoft Project is required to use these files.
.mp3 Media player software, such as QuickTime Player, Real Media Player, or Windows Media Player is required to run the .mp3 files found on a course site.
.mp4 The latest version of QuickTime Player can be used to run the .mp4 files found on a course site.
.mpeg, .mpg Media player software, such as QuickTime Player, Real Media Player, or Windows Media Player is required to view these files.
.mph COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS(formerly FEMLAB) is required to make use of the .mph files found on a course site.
.mpp Project management software, such as Microsoft Project is required to use these files.
.msi Microsoft Installer files are software components used for installation, maintenance, removal of software on Microsoft Windows systems.
.mw These files are Maple Worksheet files, for use with Maple software.
.nb Mathematica software or the free MathReader software is required to run the .nb files found on a course site.
.net .net files describe a network. Pajek is required to analyze and visualize .net files.
.ni Structured text .ni can be read and edited with WordPad, Microsoft Word, or any other text editor. They are designed for use with Inform 7, a design system for interactive fiction.
OASES OASES is a general purpose computer code for modeling seismo-acoustic propagation in horizontally stratified waveguides using wavenumber integration in combination with the Direct Global Matrix solution technique. It works with a variety of file types, including .par, .bdr, .cdr, .plp, .plt, .mtv, .trf and .rco.
.ord OMAXÂ Software is required to run .ord files.
.oum Any text editor can be used to view the contents of the .oum file on this course site. To use the .oum file as instructed on this page, MATLAB software is required.
.out

.out fles are data offset tables and can be opened using any text editor.

.p MATLAB software is required to run the .p files found on a course site. Unlike .m files, these are binary runtime files, and cannot be opened with a text editor.
.p3 Primavera Project Planner software is required to run the .p3 files on a course site.
.pd These are files for use in Pure Data, an open source real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing.
.pdb RasMol software is required to run the .pdb files found on a course site.
.pdb Protein Data Bank viewer software can be used to view the .pdb protein data bank files found on a course site.
.pde These files are associated with Processing, a programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation and interactions.
.pddl Any text editor can be used to view the .pddl files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.pl A Perl interpreter is required to run the .pl files found on a course site.
.ppt, .pptx Microsoft PowerPoint software is recommended for viewing the .ppt files found on a course site. Free Microsoft PowerPoint viewer software can also be used to view the .ppt files.
.ps Postscript viewer software, such as Ghostscript/Ghostview, can be used to view the .ps files found on a course site.
.psf Any text editor can view these Protein Structure (.psf) files. They are generated by VMD Molecular Graphics Viewer and can be used with NAMD (Molecular Dynamics Simulator).
.py Use the Python interpreter to run the .py files found on a course site.
.qif MATLAB software is required to run the .qif files found on a course site. Any text editor can be used to view the contents of the .qif files found on a course site.
.r Use R, an open source language and development environment for statistical computing, graphics, and exploratory data analysis, to run the .r files found on a course site.
.ram Real Media Player software is required to run the .ram files found on a course site.
.rar Files compressed using the .rar format can be extracted with the same software used to handle .zip (e.g., WinZip and StuffIt).
.rb A Ruby interpreter is required to run the .rb files found on a course site.
.rm Real Media Player software is required to run the .rm files found on a course site.
.rpt .rpt is a report file. Generally, these are ASCII files and can be read using any text editor.
.rt Real Media Player software is required to run the .rt files found on a course site.
.rtf Rich Text Format files can be read with any of a number of common word processing programs such as Microsoft WordPad, Apple TextEdit, LibreOffice, OpenOffice.
.s Assembly file. Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .s files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.sas7bdat Base SAS software is required to open the .sas7bdat files found on a course site.
.scm Scheme software is required to run the .scm files found on a course site.
.scs Virtuoso Spectre software is required to run the .scs files found on a course site.
.sit Stuffit is required to open the .sit files found on a course site.
.slb These files can be read using PSPICE Schematics, available from Cadence, Inc.
.sldasm SolidWorks software is required to run and view the .sldasm files found on a course site.
.sldprt SolidWorks software is required to run and view the .sldprt files found on a course site.
.slddrw SolidWorks software is required to run and view the .slddrw files found on a course site.
.slogo StarLogo software is required to run the .slogo files found on a course site.
.smil Real Media Player software is required to run the .smil files found on a course site.
.so These are Unix shared library files. Any number of programs can call the .so files found on a course site. These files are also executable. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.spt RasMol software is required to run the .spt files found on a course site.
.sql These data files for SQL (Structured Query Language) can be edited using any text editor, and read by any SQL-compatible database program, including FileMaker, Microsoft Access and MySQL.
.stl Computer-aided design (CAD) software is required to view the .stl files found on a course site.
.stp Nanotec WSxM software is required to view the .stp file found on a course site.
.sty These are supporting files used in conjunction with TeX documents. No additional software is required if you can already open or edit the primary document file.
.sub Subcircuit files used in the LTSpice graphical SPICE simulator.
.svn .svn files are used by Subversion, an open source version control system.
.swf Flash Player software is required to run the Flash media found on a course site.
.swj SolidWorks software is required to run and view the .swj files found on a course site.
.tar File decompression software, such as Winzip or StuffIt, is required to open the .tar files found on a course site.
.tex Software to view the .tex files on this course site can be accessed via the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) and the TeX Users Group Web site.
.textgrid Pratt software is needed to make use of these plain text files that accompany corresponding sound files.
.tgz File decompression software, such as Winzip or StuffIt , is required to open the .tgz files found on a course site.
.tif Any number of image viewers can be used to view the .tif files found on a course site.
.uasm A "micro" assembly language used in course 6.004. The files used in this course contain all information required to use them.
.ucf Any number of text editors can be used to open and modify .ucf files. In many cases, they can also be used in an FPGA design and testing environment such as Xilinx ISE WebPACK.
.v Any number of text editors can be used to open and modify .v files. In many cases, they can also be used in an FPGA design and testing environment such as Xilinx ISE WebPACK.
.vdf These files are associated with Vensim Simulation Software, which is used for developing high-quality dynamic feedback models.
.vpp These files are associated with Visual Paradigm, a series of software development applications. Product downloads are available from the Visual Paradigm website.
.vsd Microsoft Visio software is recommended for viewing the .vsd files found on a course site. Free Microsoft Visio viewer software can also be used to view the .vsd files.
.vss Microsoft Visio software is recommended for viewing the .vss stencil files found on a course site. Free Microsoft Visio viewer software can also be used to view the .vss files.
.vst Microsoft Visio software is recommended for viewing the .vst template files found on a course site. Free Microsoft Visio viewer software can also be used to view the .vst files.
.wav Media player software, such as QuickTime Player, Real Media Player, or Windows Media Player is required to run the .wav files found on a course site.
.wscp Any text editor can be used to view the .wcsp files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.wk1 A Lotus123 worksheet that can be read directly into MATLAB. Lotus 123 or MATLAB software can be used to run the .wk1 files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.wm Working Model 2D is required to view and run the .wm files found on a course site.
.wma Media player software, such as Real Media Player, or Windows Media Player is required to run the .wma files found on a course site.
.wmv Media player software, such as Real Media Player, or Windows Media Player is required to run the .wmv files found on a course site.
.x Any number of development tools can be used to run the .x files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.xlo .xlo is an AutoDesk Export Journal.
.xls, xlsx Microsoft Excel software is recommended for viewing the .xls and .xlsx files found on a course site. Free Microsoft Excel viewer software can also be used to view the .xls and .xlsx files.
.xmcd Mathcad software is required to view and run the .xmcd files found on a course site.
.xml Any text editor can be used to view the .xml files found on a course site.
.xsl Any text editor can be used to view the .xsl files found on a course site.
.xyz VMD (Molecular Graphics Viewer) is used to to view and use .xyz files foudn on a course site.
.yaml YAML files organize data in a human-readable text file, and may be viewed or edited using any text editor.
.zip File decompression software, such as PKZIP , Winzip, or StuffIt, is required to open the .zip files found on a course site.