PPM file icon

PPM File Extension

Portable Pixmap Image Format

What is PPM file?

PPM is an image format used for storing raster graphics. It supports 24-bit color. PPM files store images along with additional information such as image resolution of color range. PPM files do not use compression. PPM is text format and images saved in this format are larger then its binary counterparts. PPM format is thus not suitable for storing hi-resolution images.


PNM (portable anymap) is a portable image standard implemented in three image formats:

  • PBM – monochrome (1-bit black and white image)
  • PGM – greyscale (256 colors and shades of grey)
  • PPM – full color

Programs which support PPM file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support PPM files. Files with PPM suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Updated: 09/30/2022

How to open file with PPM extension?

Being unable to open files with PPM extension can be have various origins. On the bright side, the most encountered issues pertaining to Portable Pixmap Image Format files aren’t complex. In most cases they can be addressed swiftly and effectively without assistance from a specialist. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Download and install GIMP

Install software to open PPM file The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports PPM files installed on the system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing GIMP or different compatible program, such as Adobe Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, Canvas. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. The safest method of downloading GIMP installed is by going to developer’s website (The GIMP Team) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Check the version of GIMP and update if needed

Update software that support file extension PPMYou still cannot access PPM files although GIMP is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. The reason that GIMP cannot handle files with PPM may be that the software is outdated. The latest version of GIMP should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate Portable Pixmap Image Format files with GIMP

If you have the latest version of GIMP installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage PPM on your device. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with PPM file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Choose the Open with entry from the file menu accessed by right-mouse clicking on the PPM file
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where GIMP is installed, check the Always use this app to open PPM files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with PPM file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the PPM file and select Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with PPM extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Ensure that the PPM file is complete and free of errors

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the PPM file is valid. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check PPM file for viruses
1. Verify that the PPM in question is not infected with a computer virus

Should it happed that the PPM is infected with a virus, this may be that cause that prevents you from accessing it. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. If the scanner detected that the PPM file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Ensure the file with PPM extension is complete and error-free

If you obtained the problematic PPM file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. If the PPM file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run GIMP

If the systems has insufficient resources to open PPM files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Portable Pixmap Image Format file. It may be the case that the PPM files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the PPM file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on PPM file.

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