What Is the File Extension .CTF?


The CTF file extension is a much used extension. The extension .ctf has been used by at least 10 different applications for a number of years. If you have used any of those applications, or are using any of them, it is possible you have some files with this extension on your computer.


  • Normally, file extension names define one type of file. This is not true in the case of the .ctf extension. The first .ctf files were generated by the original Aldus Pagemaker software and defined compressed TIFF files. TIFF files are now under the control of Adobe, which purchased Aldus. There have been no updates to the TIFF file since 1992, and it is unclear if current Adobe applications use the .ctf extension.

Calculator Applications

  • Hewlett-Packard used the .ctf file extension to define character translation files on its DOS-based palm-top PC, the HP 95LX. Lotus Symphony also uses this extension to define character translation files. Casio calls the .ctf a calculator text format file. While files used by these various hardware and software applications have the same file extension and similar descriptions, it is unlikely they are the same type of file.

HTML Editor

  • The CoffeeCup HTML Editor, which has been around for about 12 years, also uses the file extension .ctf. In this case, it refers to a CoffeeCup table file. The application generates behind-the-code files to define tables the user produces for HTML documents. These files have no connection or similar action to the character translation files used in the calculator-type hardware or software.

Photo Albums and Backups

  • Roxio used the .ctf file extension in its Roxio Photo Album application, which is no longer supported. The extension was used in the Photo Album application as it had been in the Aldus applications---to define compressed TIFF files. Sonic Solutions bought the Roxio application, and you may be able to find support for files generated by the old Roxio application from the Sonic Solutions support team.

Catalog Files

  • The WhereisIt Catalog application, from whereisit.com, is an application that uses the .ctf extension to define catalog files. An application called BrightStor ARCserve Backup also uses .ctf to define catalog files. A known issue with these files is that they can be corrupted when a computer crashes or is shut off (by power failure, for example) while the file is open.


  • Likely, the newest use of the .ctf file extension is by Grigsoft in its AVG antivirus application. In this case, it is used to define updated control files. There is a known issue with these files when upgrading from AVG7 to AVG8. The solution is to locate the files on your computer and delete them, then restart the upgrade. These files can be found using your computer search for the file ending *.ctf.

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  • Photo Credit "another look at the slab" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: blakespot (Blake Patterson) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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