Three associations exist for the .cfm file extension. These files are either ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) pages for a website, a Corel Font Master file, or a Visual dBase file. The ColdFusion option is by far the most common, with this language being very poplar among today's web developers. The advantage of ColdFusion over standard HTML is the ability to create dynamic and interactive websites. Therefore, in addition to the usual website graphics and text, the .cfm file may contain database information, forms, Flash objects, and ColdFusion applications and scripts.
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There are many software programs that will open the .cfm and allow the user to edit the code. Most notably among them is Adobe ColdFusion, being that Adobe acquired ColdFusion from Macromedia. Users can also access these files using New Atlanta BlueDragon, the Smith project, and the Railo CFM Engine. All three software packages are free and open source offerings, and downloads can be found at their respective web sites. In addition, New Atlanta has a commercial version for those who want access to some commercially licensed technologies. Just about any text editor will open a .cfm, allowing it to be edited. It can be saved without damage as long as the file extension isn't changed, and rich text is not employed within the document. That being said, if you are not familiar with ColdFusion Markup Language the data will be of no value.
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More Info Regarding File Extension Cfm
Web surfers may encounter .cfm errors if they are using a browser which doesn't support .cfm. Older versions of Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, and Opera have been known to have issues. This is because the dynamic objects in some .cfm files makes use of technology not around in the early days of the Internet. Any browser upgraded to its most recent version should have no trouble with .cfm files. If you are using the latest version of your browser and still having difficulty, check the browser company's website. You may need to upgrade or install new plugins. Occasionally, a re-installation of the browser is needed to correct the issue.
Corel FontMaster, which was part of the CorelDraw Suite V.6 made use of the .cfm file extension in naming the font files within the system. FontMaster had a very short shelf life due to the fact that its installation utility was unable to install fonts correctly in Windows. Users who tried using the utility would later find they were experiencing errors when trying to run Adobe Page Maker. The two most common errors were a page fault error and icon loading error. The only resolution was to use FontMaster to uninstall the fonts. When made aware of the problem, Corel recommended that FontMaster users install fonts through the Windows font folder. At this time there appears to be no way of opening or converting these .cfm files externally, but if installed through the Windows font folder they should work fine.
Visual dBase is the third software package known to utilize the .cfm file extension. Visual dBase is a database management tool that's been around for over twenty years. The .cfm extension was used to denote forms within a database, but the database as an entire unit was saved using the .dbf extension. Microsoft Access can import .dbf files, but importing individual .cfm files has not been reported as being successful. There appears to be no third party applications able to open and edit the Visual dBase .cfm file.
Errors encountered with this type of file are usually limited to incorrect file associations. On newer computers especially, .cfm is associated with ColdFusion. Clicking on a Visual dBase .cfm will cause the computer to attempt access through a web browser or ColdFusion engine. An unable to open error will occur.