How to Open Files with the .pcx File Extension

What is the .pcx file extension?

The .pcx file extension is an acronym for Personal Computer eXchange and is a format majorly associated with the image file format. The first application to support this format was the PaintBrush application.

What is the .pcx file extension used for?

The .pcx file extension format is an image format which was developed by Zsoft Corporation. It is a format which is native to the PC paintbrush application and is the first to be widely accepted as an image standard for MS-DOS. The .pcx file extension format is a bitmap image format which is device independent and stores data about the image like resolution, color depth, and color pallets in its header file.

If the image is transferred to a different location or opened by another application, the original image data maintained in the header file is accessed and the image is opened. This way the originality of the image is preserved on multiple platforms and applications.

The .pcx file extension format can store image information varying from 2,4,16 to 256 colors and has been extended to even 24-bit images as well. It can display 8-bit gray scale images, indexed images and monochromatic images often called 1-bit images.

This compressed format uses the RLE encoding and is majorly used by DOS and Windows platforms.

The use of the .pcx file extension format has declined because more lossless formats like jpeg, png and gif have emerged. Even then, the .pcx file extension format is still used by some fax / scanning applications. Multiple pages of fax containing .pcx image files are piled up in a sequence with one header file and are stored using the .dcx file format which is an extension of the .pcx format.

What are the different kinds of software used to open the .pcx file extension?

The .pcx file extension can be opened using image viewing and editing applications designed for both Mac and Windows applications. As this is a standard image format there are lots of applications which are designed to view the .pcx file extension format. Some of them are -

Mac and Windows OS

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Nuance OmniPage Pro
  • XnView

Windows Only

  • ZSoft PC Paintbrush
  • IrfanView
  • Corel PaintShop
  • ACDSee Photo Manager

FileCure SoftwareFileCure is a powerful application which can open any kind of file format, so it can be used to open files with the .pcx file extension. This software is commonly used to fix file association errors.

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