SHP file icon

SHP File Extension

Shapes Format

What is SHP file?

SHP file format (short for shape) is used for storing vector graphics and data related to geospatial information used by geographic information system (GIS) software. SHP file can hold geographical and spatial data that describes such entities as landmarks, rivers, streets, or postal zones.

SHP format was created by ESRI, a company that supplies various GIS software products, and is still actively developed. SHP format is an open standard.

Idea behind SHP format

SHP file represents a 2D/3D image created using points, lines, and polygons. Each element of the project can have attributes (stored in separate file saved in DBF format) that describe related elements.

SHP and additional files

SHP are usually accompanied by additional files, some of which are required, and some optional. Required files: SHP, DBF, and SHX. Optional files: XML, SBX, and PRJ. Required files must be located in the same folder as the main file.

Programs which support SHP file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with SHP files, divided into 2 categories based on operating system on which they are available. SHP files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

Programs that support SHP file

Updated: 01/10/2020

How to open file with SHP extension?

Problems with accessing SHP may be due to various reasons. Fortunately, most common problems with SHP files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with SHP files.

Step 1. Get the AutoCAD

Install software to open SHP file Problems with opening and working with SHP files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with SHP files being present on your machine. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing AutoCAD or different compatible program, such as 3ds Max, CorelCAD, ArcView. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit AutoCAD website and download the installer.

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

Update software that support file extension SHPIf the problems with opening SHP files still occur even after installing AutoCAD, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of AutoCAD is available. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. The reason that AutoCAD cannot handle files with SHP may be that the software is outdated. The latest version of AutoCAD should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Assign AutoCAD to SHP files

If the issue has not been solved in the previous step, you should associate SHP files with latest version of AutoCAD you have installed on your device. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Associate software with SHP file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Right-click the SHP file and choose Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where AutoCAD is installed, check the Always use this app to open SHP files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with SHP file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the SHP file and select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • Select AutoCAD and click Change for all...
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with SHP extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Verify that the SHP is not faulty

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the SHP file in question. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check SHP file for viruses
1. Check the SHP file for viruses or malware

Should it happed that the SHP 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. SHP file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

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

If you obtained the problematic SHP file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. If the SHP file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Shapes Format file again.

4. Check whether your system can handle AutoCAD

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

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Shapes Format files and ensure security of your device and operating system. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle SHP files.

Conversion of a SHP file

File Conversions from SHP extension to a different format
File conversions from other format to SHP file
Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the SHP 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 SHP file.

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