Opening MIX files

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

What is the .MIX file type?

Primarily, the .mix filename suffix stands for the Microsoft Image Extension (MIX) format and the associated MIX Image (.mix) file type. MIX is a non-standard, proprietary format developed by Microsoft for their early Picture It! and PhotoDraw 2000 graphics editors that used the MIX format natively. With all of them discontinued, Microsoft currently provides no support for the MIX format.

The .mix file is a graphic image in the MIX format. It can contain both vector and raster graphics arranged as layers. Technically, each .mix image file is a Composite Document File V2 (OLE2) document, a container for multiple individual images. Although the MIX image format may still be supported by several multi-format viewers, using it for new images should be avoided for all practical purposes.

MIX files can be converted by re-saving from PhotoDraw 2000, Picture It! or their successor Digital Image, or with the use of third-party tools. With some versions of Microsoft Office, it was possible to import MIX images via the "Insert image..." command.

Another association of the .mix extension goes with the Autodesk meshmixer Scene (.mix) file type/format. MIX is a native document format for saving 3D mesh scenes in Autodesk's 3D modeling tool meshmixer. Here, the .mix file is a 3D scene that can be opened in meshmixer for further editing. To use it in other software, the MIX scene must first be exported to a common 3D-object format (.obj or .stl).

Another occurrence of the .mix extension is related to Command&Conquer (C&C), a series of Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games from Westwood Studios (Electronic Arts). Here, a .mix file represents a universal game resource container. It is a two-part (header + body) binary storage for area maps, terrain images, unit and structure models, music, video sequences, and other data used in the course of gameplay. Typical C&C .mix files include "cclocal.mix" (fonts, mouse cursor, etc.), "general.mix" (campaign missions), "movies.mix", and others. The MIX format has been reverse-engineered, and several modding tools exist.

With reference to WarCraft III (Blizzard Entertainment) and possibly other popular MMORTS and MMORPG games, the .mix extension (along with the extensions .asi, .flt, .m3d) is applied to unofficial modding exploit files. The .mix file is a Microsoft Windows executable, combining the features of a DLL and a Warcraft III .mpq resource archive. Such .mix exploits allows to "mix in" custom content and apply cheats and/or mods. Originally, the .mix extension is used for sound mixer files in WarCraft III.

Apart from the above, the .mix extension once represented object code files generated in a proprietary format by the ancient minimalistic Power C compiler from Mix Software. Such MIX files could not be converted into .obj, however, the opposite conversion was possible with the OBJ-to-MIX utility.

Software to open or convert MIX files

You can open MIX files with the following programs:
Meshmixer by Autodesk, Inc.
Microsoft Picture It! Foto Premium
Microsoft Picture It! Foto Premium by Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Digital Image Pro
Microsoft Digital Image Pro by Microsoft Corporation

Popular formats