Opening PIC files

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

What is the .PIC file type?

Most frequently, the .pic extension represents the Macintosh QuickDraw Picture Format. Abbreviated as PICT, it is a proprietary file format developed by Apple Computer for the QuickDraw graphics engine in the classical Apple Macintosh OS. PICT used the same data format as the Mac OS system clipboard and acted as the standard metafile format in Apple Mac OS (replaced by PDF in Mac OS X). The .pic and other extensions (.pict, .pct) are commonly used to denote PICT files outside Apple Mac OS.

A .pic file is a QuickDraw PICT metafile, a graphical image. Along with vector and raster data, such files (.pic, etc.) can incorporate text. In Mac OS, PICT files were natively supported on a system level, with application-level support retained for compatibility in Mac OS X. In Microsoft Windows, PICT files (.pic, .pict, .pct) can be directly opened and viewed by several all-purpose image viewers, with options of conversion into standard image formats.

Apart from that, the .pic extension also designates the Radiance High Dynamic Range (HDR) Image file format, also known as the RGBE Image Format, developed by G.Ward in the scope of Radiance, his open-source lighting simulation and rendering toolkit. Besides .pic, Radiance HDR images can use other extensions like .rgbe, .hdr, and .xyze. The HDR file format stores 32-bit pixel data along with floating-point radiance values in a RLE-compressed binary file with the "#?RADIANCE" signature in its ASCII header. HDR image files (.pic, etc.) can be imported in several image editors and 3D modeling programs as well as directly viewed with standalone HDR viewers.

Another association of the .pic extension belongs to the Bio-Rad Scan Image (.pic) file format/type natively used to save images acquired with Bio-Rad confocal microscopes (e.g., Bio-Rad MRC-500). The PIC format accommodates storage of multiple scan images with multiple 8-bit or 16-bit channels (scan stacks) in a single file. PIC microscope scans can be processed with Bio-Rad's LaserSharp tool or imported into other scientific image-analysis software.

In addition to that, the .pic extension serves to identify plaintext source-code files used in programming PIC/PICmicro microcontrollers (Microchip Technology). A .pic file contains source code of a program written for a specific PIC chip (e.g., PIC16F628A). Before it can be used to flash a PIC chip, the .pic source must be compiled into the hexadecimal (.hex) format.

As an acronym of 'Picture,' the .pic extension often acts as a generic label for image, or picture (.pic) files across different applications. As the extension only generally defines a file as an image, such PIC files may come in a variety of formats, to be opened in those same applications that created them.

Software to open or convert PIC files

You can open PIC files with the following programs:
QuickTime by Apple Inc.
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop by Adobe Systems, Inc.
Adobe Photoshop CS2
Adobe Photoshop CS2 by Adobe Systems, Inc.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Adobe Photoshop Elements by Adobe Systems Incorporated

Popular formats