MAX File Extension

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

What is the .MAX file type?

The .max filename extension primarily represents the Autodesk 3ds Max Scene (.max) file type and format. 3ds Max by Autodesk is one of the most renowned 3D modeling, animation, and rendering tools on the PC platform (Microsoft Windows).

A .max file is a 3D scene or object crafted in Autodesk 3ds Max and saved as a project. It is a compound binary file in 3ds Max's proprietary native format (MAX) used by default to save projects. A .max file is a one-for-all container for all project's data, including a preview bitmap, meshes, materials, textures, light sources, etc. MAX scenes/objects can be properly opened in Autodesk 3ds Max only. Within 3ds Max, there are a lot of export options (also, through plugins) to a number of 3D modeling, CAD, and other formats.

Along with the OBJ and 3DS (legacy) formats, MAX is currently one of the most widespread 3D scene formats. Newer 3ds Max versions provide read support for legacy .max saved by earlier versions, prompting to re-save them in the current format.

Alternatively, the .max extension is used in association with the PaperPort Image (.max) file type and format, with reference to PaperPort, an integrated commercial OCR (Optical Character Recognition), PDF creation, and document processing solution by Nuance Communications, Inc. (Microsoft Windows/Apple iOS). Earlier versions of PaperPort (before 14) used the MAX format by default to save documents scanned with Visioneer scanners and OCR-processed through integration with OmniPage.

Here, a .max file is a PaperPort Image document, containing OCR-processed and searchable text inside. Since PaperPort 14, MAX files can no longer be edited, although they still can be read and converted into PDF. Ouside PaperPort, MAX files can be opened for viewing, using a free Visioneer viewer.

The .max extension additionally stands for the Action Replay MAX Saved Game (.max) file type and format used with the Datel Action Replay MAX software+hardware cheat modules for portable gaming consoles, such as Nintendo 3DS, Sony Wii, and others. A .max file represents a game state saved into a file that can be loaded to restore the gameplay from the saved point. MAX files are also used to store Action Replay MAX settings.

Apart from that, the .max extension also designates the OrCAD Layout File (.max) file type associated with the older OrCAD PCB (printed circuit board) layout format. OrCAD by Cadence Design Systems is a family of commercial PCB and IC-based circuit design software that earlier used the MAX file format to save PCB layouts. Legacy OrCAD layouts (.max) can be read and converted into the PCB Editor (.brd) format in Cadence PCB Editor or Cadence Capture.

With reference to the Maximizer CRM (Client Relations Management) commercial software by CICorporation, the .max extension flags the Maximizer Database File (.max) file type/format. A .max file is a Pervasive.SQL database. Maximizer uses a number of similarly named .max databases, with each file representing a different kind of data (e.g., "MXZC.max" is the main address book file).

Software to open or convert MAX files

You can open MAX files with the following programs:
3ds Max
PaperPort by ScanSoft, Inc.
PaperPort by Nuance Communications, Inc.

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