How to open CGI files on PC

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • CGI or Common Gateway Interface is a script file used by web developers.
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CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is a type of script file incorporated in website pages. The CGI scripts are primarily for web forms and search boxes. For example, many developers add CGI scripts to pages that send out form data to email addresses.

The Common Gateway Interface files are essentially text documents that include scripts. Perl is the most common programming language for CGI scripts. However, developers can also code them in C. All you need to open the files is a text editor that supports their format.

How do I open a CGI file on my Windows PC?

1. Open a CGI File with a Text Editor

There are numerous programs you can open CGI files with. Third-party software isn’t even required as you can open them in Notepad. However, the Notepad text editor doesn’t have any options or tools for scripting.

Notepad++ is a much better text editor that supports the CGI format. The best thing about Notepad++ is that it includes syntax highlight and folding. As such, this is great software for editing CGI scripts. It also has a customizable GUI and a tabbed UI design that enables users to open multiple files within one window.

  • You can save the Notepad++ setup wizard to Windows from this page. The software has 32 and 64-bit versions, so click Notepad++ Installer 32-bit x86 if you have a 32-bit Windows system.
  • Open the software’s installer from your browser’s download folder. Run through the setup wizard to install it, and open the program‘s window below.

  • Then you can click File > Open and select the CGI file to open in Notepad++.

2. Use Adobe Dreamweaver

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IF you are serious about web development, then a great place to start is with Adobe Dreamweaver. This web development platform is designed to easily get you started in visually creating web pages and as you progress, you can start working with scripts.

Using the simplified coding engine, you can easily get started in learning HTM or CSS and reduce errors thanks to the built-in visual aids. However, if you want to skip all of that, there are thousands of templates you can use and modify to suit your website.

The pages you can create with Adobe Dreamweaver look stunning, and they change dynamically depending on what device you’re viewing them on. Here are some of the features to look forward to when using Dreamweaver:

  • Multi-monitor support in Windows
  • Live View editing
  • Easy to use UI
  • Git Support
  • Support for HTML, CSS, JavaScript and many more

=> Download Adobe Dreamweaver for free

3. Convert the CGI File to PDF

You can also open CGI files in Google Chrome by converting them to PDF (Portable Document Format). Chrome has its own PDF viewer that opens the documents in tabs. However, you can’t edit the documents in the browser unless you add an extension to it. You’re not really opening the CGI file, but the PDF will include all its script. This is how you can convert a CGI file to PDF format.

  • First, open the PDF24 convertor page in your browser. That converts CGI and other file formats to PDF.

  • Press the Choose file button, and then select the CGI file to convert.
  • Press Go to convert the file to PDF.
  • Click the Download button to save the PDF.
  • You can open the CGI script in Chrome by right-clicking its PDF and selecting Open with. Select to open it with the Google Chrome browser.
  • You can also open the document with alternative PDF software, such as Adobe Acrobat and Foxit.

So you can open CGIs in Notepad++ and Chrome, and Vim, EditRocket and gVim are alternative software that also supports the file format. If you need to edit the CGI script, open the file in Notepad++. Convert the CGI to PDF if you only need to share or print the file.

FAQ: Opening CGI files on PC

  • What is a CGI file?

Common Gateway Interface (CGI) files are scripts used in web development which are executed by the server.

  • How do I edit a CGI file?

Because a CGI file is essentially a text file, the editor programs shown above will open it. Additionally, you can open and edit them using Adobe Dreamweaver.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Common Gateway Interface (CGI) files are scripts used in web development which are executed by the server.

  • Because a CGI file is essentially a text file, the editor programs shown above will open it. Additionally, you can open and edit them using Adobe Dreamweaver.

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