Opening PCX files

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

What is the .PCX file type?

A short for the PC Exchange, the .pcx filename extension represents the ZSoft Image (.pcx) file type. ZSoft is the developer of the PC Exchange (PCX) image format who used it in their MS-DOS-based PC Paintbrush graphics editor. A legacy from the MS-DOS era, PCX handles indexed (4/8-bit) or high-color (24-bit) bitmap RGB images saved with a fast, yet inefficient lossless compression method. It is somewhat similar to BMP, although much less popular.

The .pcx file is a graphical image in the PCX format. In Microsoft Windows, the native PCX support was absent ever since Windows 98, although .pcx images could be opened in Microsoft Office through the PCX import filter (feature removed since 2003). For all later Microsoft Windows and Office releases, third-party tools are required to open .pcx images.

PCX images can still be opened by several all-in-one viewers (some with thumbnail generation capability) as well as imported in major bitmap graphics editors like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. In addition to that, converters are available on different platforms that can transform .pcx images into standard formats like PNG, JPEG, or TIFF.

Software to open or convert PCX files

You can open PCX files with the following programs:
Adobe Photoshop CC
Adobe Photoshop CC by Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe Photoshop CS6
Adobe Photoshop CS6 by Adobe Systems Incorporated
IrfanView by Irfan Skiljan

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