What Is an AV File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert AV Files

Screenshot of several AV files in Windows 10 that open with Final Draft AV
AV Files.

A file with the AV file extension is a Final Draft AV (Audio-Visual) Document file created by Final Draft AV version 1. Later editions create documents with the .XAV file extension instead. Template files use the similar XAVT file format.

Final Draft AV is a word processor program that simplifies the process of adding dialogue, scenes, character information, and other things necessary for a script. AV files are used by the program to store this information.

Some cameras may also use the AV file extension for storing video data.

Note: AV (or A/V) also stands for "audio/visual" when referring to composite and component AV cables.

How to Open an AV File

Final Draft AV, a popular scriptwriting software program for Windows and macOS, is used to open XAV and AV files that are document files. Since they're based on the XML format and are therefore plain text files, you can also open XAV and AV files with a text editor; see our favorites in this Best Free Text Editors list.

Note: Final Draft AV is no longer available for download, and newer Final Draft products from the Final Draft website use FDX files as Document files. However, Final Draft AV version 2 is available for download from Softpedia and it does support opening AV files.

I don't know of any software that supports video files that use the .AV file extension. However, given that AV isn't a popular file extension for videos, it's possible that you can just rename the file to something more common like .MP4 or .AVI and then open it with VLC. This will only work if the AV file is technically an MP4, AVI, etc., but is using the AV file extension so that it's unique to the program or device that creates the video.

Note: The AV file extension is very similar to the extension found in other file formats like AVI, AVHD (Hyper-V SnapShot), AVS (AVS Preset, Avid Project Preferences, Adobe Photoshop Variations), and AVE, but that doesn't necessarily mean the formats have anything to do with each other.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the AV file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open AV files, see our How to Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert an AV File

Final Draft AV can convert the AV file to PDF, RTF, TXT, FCV, and XAVT through the File > Save As... menu.

Read what I wrote about AV video files. You might not even need to use a file conversion tool to save the AV file as MP4 or any other video format. However, even if renaming the AV file to .MP4 doesn't actually let you play the video, you might still be able to import the ".MP4" file in a free video converter and convert it to some other file format.

More Help With AV Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the AV file and I'll see what I can do to help.