XCF File Extension

XCF file icon
GIMP Image Format

What is XCF file?

XCF image file is used by GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) software. XCF files store tracks, layers, transparency settings, channel, guides, and other elements used in image editing. XCF format doesn’t offer option to review image edit history.

XCF format compression

XCF files stores graphical data in compressed form using simple RLE compression algorithm supported by gzip or bzip2 methods used by GIMP. Files with GZIP or BZPI2 extensions are recognized by GIMP as image files.

XCF format’s lack of popularity

Use of XCF files as data sharing format is discouraged for some elements of the format’s structure are closely related to GIMP’s unique functions. Because of that fact, the XCF graphical format is not very popular.

Additional information

XCF format is backward compatible and therefore support older versions of GIMP files.

XCF format was developed by a group of undergraduates interested in advancing computer science who call themselves ”eXperimental Computing Facility”, hence the format’s name.

Programs which support XCF file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with XCF files, divided into 3 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with XCF suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Programs that support XCF file

Updated: 01/24/2020

How to open file with XCF extension?

Being unable to open files with XCF extension can be have various origins. Fortunately, most common problems with XCF files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Get the GIMP

The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports XCF files installed on the system. This one is an easy one. Select GIMP or one of the recommended programs (for example, CorelDRAW, XnView, CinePaint) and download it from appropriate source and install on your system. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support XCF files, classified according to system platforms for which they are available. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit GIMP website and download the installer.

Step 2. Verify the you have the latest version of GIMP

If you already have GIMP installed on your systems and XCF files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. This can be one of the causes why XCF files are not compatible with GIMP. The most recent version of GIMP is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Set the default application to open XCF files to 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 XCF on your device. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Right-click the XCF 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 GIMP is installed, check the Always use this app to open XCF files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • Right-click the XCF file and select Information
  • Open the Open with section by clicking its name
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • Finally, a This change will be applied to all files with XCF extension message should pop-up. Click Continue button in order to confirm your choice.

Step 4. Verify that the XCF is not faulty

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper XCF file. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.

1. The XCF may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

Should it happed that the XCF 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 XCF file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

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

If you obtained the problematic XCF 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. When downloading the file with XCF extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

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. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the GIMP Image Format file again.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open GIMP

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support XCF files. Close all running programs and try opening the XCF file.

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

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with GIMP Image Format files. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle XCF files.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the XCF 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 XCF file.

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