Opening XBM files

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

What is the .XBM file type?

The .xbm filename extension is conventionally associated with the X-Bitmap Image (XBM) file type and format. XBM is a text-based format that originated with the famous Unix GUI system, X Window. One of the first bitmap formats, XBM is specifically used for various small bitmap images, like cursors, buttons, and similar GIU-related items.

XBM is a purely ASCII-based format, and an .xbm file is a text-only representation of binary data constituting a monochrome bitmap (raster) image. XBM was extended into the color-capable XPM (X Pixmap) format.

Technically speaking, an .xbm file contains definition of a data array, using the syntax and semantics of the C programming language. The array contains hexadecimal byte values, while each byte value controls which bits are to be set (1) or unset (0), making pixels become lit or unlit, respectively.

XBM images are supported by several image viewers as well as image editors. Any .xbm file can be opened and edited with a text editor, however, it is far more convenient to use dedicated tools (such as ImageMagick) for automated XBM generation and/or conversion.

Software to open or convert XBM files

You can open XBM files with the following programs: 

Popular formats