Opening SDF files

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

What is the .SDF file type?

The primary association of the .sdf extension belongs to the Sharpdesk Document (.sdf) file type and format. Sharpdesk is the name of the now-legacy document imaging, OCR, and desktop publishing application that was developed by Sharp Corporation for the Microsoft Windows platform. While providing support for several popular office and bitmap graphics formats, Sharpdesk saved its documents in its own proprietary format (.sdf) by default. The .sdf file is a single-file container in which different types of data and entire documents could be combined and treated as a whole using the Sharpdesk Composer tool. Sharpdesk documents (.sdf) could be opened in Sharpdesk Composer only, and once opened, could be exported for publishing in several standard formats such as PDF.

The .sdf extension is also associated with the SQL Server Compact Edition Database (.sdf) file type/format used with the Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition (SSCE) database management solution for applications. The .sdf file is a SSCE relational database. Such databases are often used internally by various applications that rely on SSCE for their databasing needs. To directly "open" (or, rather, connect to) such a database (.sdf), once can use Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio or one of the third-party tools. Besides, such SSCE databases (.sdf) could be directly opened in Microsoft Visual Studio up to version 2012.

The .sdf extension also represents the Spatial Data Format (SDF) invented by Autodesk as database format specially tailored for storing GIS data. SDF's data storage mechanism is loosely based on SQLite but is not directly compatible with it. In this context, an .sdf file is an SDF dataset created (and openable) by one of Autodesk's GIS products (e.g., MapGuide) or SDF-compatible third-party applications.

Yet another association of the .sdf extension goes with the text-based Structure Data File (SDF) format developed by Elsevier Molecular Design Limited (later, MDL Information Systems) for describing and exchanging 3D molecular models. Here, the .sdf file defines a 3D molecular model, it is a large text file in which atomic coordinates and other relevant data are stored in a tabular fashion. Often distributed in a compressed form ( or .sdf.gz) due to their size, SDF files can be directly opened by several chemistry applications as well as imported into spreadsheets.

With reference to Spring, a versatile open-source OpenGL-based engine for 3D real-time strategy (RTS) games, the .sdf extension is used to denote the Spring Game Replay (.sdf) file type/format. For every game launched, Spring automatically records a replay sequence and saves it in an .sdf file in the "..\Spring\demos" directory. Once the actual game is finished or paused, its replay can be watched by opening the respective .sdf file with the main Spring executable ("Spring.exe").

Another function of the .sdf extension is to denote Space Delimited Format (SDF) files. Such an SDF file is a simple text file with a list of records which are delimited using the space character (ASCII code: 32), very similar to the comma-separated (CSV) and tab-separated (TSV) files. Space delimited files (.sdf) are used in programming systems such as FreePascal or Delphi as well as in databasing and scientific data processing.

The .sdf extension also represents the System Definition File (SDF) file type used in Oracle's Data Quality series of software products for corporate environments such as Siebel Data Quality and others. A system definition file (e.g., "SiebelDQ.sdf") is a text file providing definition of a data system for a Data Quality product.

Apart from that, the .sdf extension is additionally associated with the Standard Delay Format (SDF), denoting plain-text files in which nominal timings and delays are defined for an electronic device design in accordance with IEEE 1497.

Software to open or convert SDF files

You can open SDF files with the following programs:
@即売ぁEめE by AppTool Inc.
CompactView by Iván Costales Suárez
ChemAxon Marvin Beans

Popular formats