Opening PDB files

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

What is the .PDB file type?

The primary association of the .pdb extension belongs to the Palm OS Database file format and the related PDB file type. Palm OS is one of the older operating systems specifically developed for mobile devices. Palm OS does not use a filesystem and treats all data in memory as a database.

The .pdb extension is usually assigned to both data and application files received from a Palm OS device during synchronization. A .pdb file is, in fact, a container that can hold any kind of data. It can be a document, a data file, an actual database or an application. Different types of Palm OS databases have different internal formats, which is signified by a special file code in the file's header. E-books (mainly, MOBI) are often distributed as PDB files.

PDB files can be natively used only on a Palm OS device. On a computer, such files have to be opened through a viewer. There are multiple viewers as well as online and standalone converters to/from PDB available.

Differently, the .pdb extension is also employed to point out to the Protein Data Bank (PDB) file type and format. Protein Data Bank is an international registry of all known protein types, while PDB is a standard text-based format to describe composition and structure of protein molecules in a three-dimensional representation.

The PDB format is universally adopted for all data submitted to, or obtained from the Protein Data Bank. PDB files can be read, processed and visualized by a number of molecule modeling and visualization tools on all major platforms.

In relation to MS Windows applications developed with MS Visual Studio, the .pdb extension denotes the Debugging Symbols (PDB) file format and the associated file type. A PDB file is a database of debugging symbols generated from an application's source code during compilation. PDB files are not required to run the compiled application and are generally kept by developers for debugging purposes.

Lastly, SAP/Sybase PowerDesigner—a sophisticated and extensible enterprise-level modeling solution—uses the .pdb extension to label its physical data model (PDM) backup files. A .pdb file is a backup of a .pdm model file.

Software to open or convert PDB files

You can open PDB files with the following programs: 

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