exp 

Opening EXP files

Have a problem opening a .EXP file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what EXP files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .EXP file type?

The .exp extension primarily stands for the Symbols Export File (.exp) file type used in Microsoft Windows programming, namely within Microsoft Visual Studio, a powerful commercial IDE by Microsoft. The purpose of a symbols export file (.exp) is to provide reference to library functions, 'exporting' them for the linker.

An .exp file is a regular text file with a list of exported functions and data items (symbols). Generated and used together with import library files (.lib), export files (.exp) serve as a means of breaking mutual dependencies when a program must use certain functions of a DLL (Dynamic Link Library), which in its turn also relies on certain main program's functions. An .exp file allows to compile and link the main code and any referenced DLL's independently.



A detailed description of how to use .exp and .lib files is given on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) portal.


In the CAD realm, the .exp extension belongs to the CATIA V4 Export File (.exp) file type and format. CATIA is a prominent PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and CAD system by Dassault Systemes. CATIA V4 is an older Unix-based system, while CATIA V5 can operate on Microsoft Windows.

An .exp file is a representation of a part or assembly designed in CATIA V4 and exported for other CAD systems. Thanks to CATIA's V4 large user base, its EXP format is generally well supported, and .exp files can be imported into other major CAD systems as well as converted into other CAD formats.


With reference to Dell SonicWALL hardware firewall devices, the .exp extension is used to denote SonicWALL configuration files (.exp). An .exp file is Base64-encoded text file with a list of configuration variables and their values. Besides loading into a SonicWALL unit, an .exp file cannot be directly opened for reading, as it requires decoding and parsing. SonicWALL .exp files can be limitedly viewed as HTML reports with the use of the free SonicReader tool.


In the area of machine-assisted embroidery, the .exp extension labels both Melco and Bernina embroidery design files (.exp). Those are two different file formats, using the same extension. In both cases, an .exp file is a machine embroidery design. Melco .exp files save no thread color information, while the Bernina format follows a color chart and uses multiple files (.exp, .inf, .bmp).


The ArcGIS for Desktop software by Esri uses the .exp extension as a label for its Expression File (.exp) file type. Here, an expression is a set of ArcMap attributes saved into a Unicode (UTF-16) text file. Such .exp files can be opened/modified in any Unicode-enabled text editor.


Additionally, the .exp extension can occur in association with the Expect Script (.exp) file type, denoting regular text files that contain Expect scripts (programs). Expect is a batch scripting tool for command-line user interfaces (CLI) on Unix-style OS'es. Expect scripts (.exp) can have other extensions (.sh) or no extension at all.


Standing for 'Export,' the .exp extension can be used as a token of the generic Export File (.exp) file type. An export file is any data or project file saved in a standard, allegedly widely supported data-exchange format, in contrast to any private (native) format that might be used by an application. Export files (.exp) are used to enable data exchange among otherwise incompatible applications. The actual format of any .exp file depends on the file's origin and the program that created it.


Lastly, the .exp extension also represents the Aurora Expert Trace File (.exp) file type and format, with reference to Aurora Expert, a discontinued telecom network tracing and analysis software by Trend Communications. An .exp file would contain results of a connection trace performed with Aurora Expert.

Software to open or convert EXP files

You can open EXP files with the following programs: 

Popular formats