The file extension PHP stands for the files which contain scripting languages which are used to create software applications that are web-based. PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a file that is used on the server side of web-based applications due to its ability to interact with databases.
The source code for PHP is created by a web developer for use with dynamic content and allows you to interact with a web page, such as filling out a form or survey and then clicking the Submit button. Once you interact with an application that contains PHP source code, the information is entered into a database such as a customer database for an online business.
Once PHP source code has been generated and placed on the web server, the server dynamically creates the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) which is comprised of the web page content before it is sent to your browser when you request access to a website. The end user never sees the actual PHP source code, only the result, which is the web page itself.
How to Open PHP Files
The content which is contained in a PHP file includes HTML tags, scripting languages, and text, which are elements that are used to create webpages with dynamic interactive content. Once the content in a PHP file is created, it is delivered to your web browser as plain Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to allow you to view and interact with a web page. For this reason, PHP files will appear in the form of a web page, and the page in the URL address bar at the top of your browser window may end with the PHP file extension.
If you are a web developer and you have downloaded a PHP file for scripting purposes, then the process of opening the PHP file will be different, so you can view the file for the purpose of editing. PHP files are often available from tutorial websites on web development or as part of a code package.
PHP files can be opened using a text editor such as Notepad if you use the Windows operating system or a program such as TextEdit if you use Mac OS X. Just launch the text editor and then click on File and choose Open from the drop-down menu. Click on All Files to reveal the PHP extension and then locate the file you want to view and click Open.
If you are working with TextEdit for Mac, all you need to do is locate the PHP file, right click on it, and choose Open With from the menu. Select TextEdit to open and view it and perform any edits.
For the Linux operating system you can open and view PHP files using Apache Web Server with PHP or Zend Studio 9. You can also choose from a variety of software online which is designed for all types of operating systems and is capable of reading source code contained in PHP files.