File Extension KEY
File extension KEY is most commonly used to denote a product or security key, and may be used to install an application or be created following registration of the software. Though less common, the KEY file extension may also relate to a keyboard definition file, which is used to store keyboard layouts for different languages, or a Keynote Presentation file produced in Apple Keynote, the equivalent of Microsoft PowerPoint on the Mac.
KEY files are required by the installation routine of some applications, and its contents are checked against registration information supplied by the user to determine whether or not the application is licensed for use. KEY files are also generated after installation or registration of some applications such as anti-virus software. These are often license keys, and may be used in conjunction with an auto update application to determine what updates should be downloaded and applied. Though KEY files are usually stored as text, their contents are often encrypted to prevent them being modified, and as such will appear as a string of unintelligible text.
KEY files are also used to store keyboard definitions which map keys to characters, with each language having its own definition. They may also store custom keyboard shortcuts, such as for use in applications.
The KEY file extension is also used by Apple Keynote, which is a presentation application similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. KEY files of this type are packages which store the contents of a presentation including slides, embedded media such as images or sounds, text, embedded objects and transition information.
KEY files containing license or registration information can only be used in conjunction with the application they are associated with, which may be identifiable by the location of the KEY file. Keyboard definition KEY files can be used by the operating system as well as applications which support shortcuts. Apple Keynote KEY files can only be opened using Apple Keynote on the Mac platform.