RES File Extension

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

What is the .RES file type?

The primary association of the .res filename extension belongs to the Microsoft Windows Compiled Resource Script (.res) file type/format. Such files are also referred to as the C/C++ compiled resource scripts. RES is a Windows-specific format, and such resource (.res) files are actively used in such programming environments as Embarcadero (Borland) Delphi, Microsoft Visual Studio, and others.

As its name implies, a compiled resource script (.res) contains various resources (text strings, icons, cursors, bitmap images, and other data items) a Windows application may use. There can only be one .res file per application.

Windows .res files are compiled from resource definition files (.rc), using the Microsoft Windows Resource Compiler (RC, rc.exe) included in the Windows SDK or RC's open-source (GNU) equivalent. During linking, the .res files are converted into the Common Object File Format (COFF).

As an abbreviation of 'Resource,' the .res extension is widely used for identification of various game resource files (.res). A resource file is a compressed container package, often in some proprietary format to prevent tampering, that consists of 3D models, textures, icons, sounds, music, and other data required by the game. With most games, the contents of their .res files are copyrighted material.

Although .res files are not meant to be manipulated by the user, they often become a modding target. For every popular game that relies on .res files, there is at least one unofficial tool that can read that particular game's RES format.

With reference to the Source game engine by Valve Technologies (used in Half-Life 2 and derivatives), the .res extension stands for the Resource File (.res) file type. A resource file (.res) is a plaintext configuration file that controls certain aspect of the Source engine's behavior (for instance, the "hudlayout.res" file controls the look of the HUD display). Resource files (.res) are heavily used in modding, and detailed descriptions of their format, syntax, and function are available on the Valve Developer Community and other web sites.

Standing for 'Results,' the .res extension occurs in relation to the files that contain results data from simulated or real experiments, complex scientific calculations, genetic analysis runs, and other data sources. Depending on its area of application, any such .res file can come in one of the many plaintext (CSV, TSV, etc.) or binary formats. Any RES file containing raw or processed data should be handled by that program for which the file is intended.

The Soil and Water Analysis Tool (SWAT) uses the .res extension for its Reservoir Input Data (.res) file type and format. It is a binary file in a special format detailed in the SWAT documentation. The .res file stores input data for water intake by a reservoir from upstream sources within a basin. RES files are used to model water circulation and sediment formation processes in reservoirs.

Software to open or convert RES files

You can open RES files with the following programs: 

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