What Is a CHN File?

Some CHN files are Ethnograph data files, but others could be completely unrelated

What to Know

  • A CHN file might be an Ethnograph data file.
  • Open one with Ethnograph.
  • Look for a File > Save As or Export menu to convert the file.

This article explains what a CHN file is. Since there are multiple formats that use this extension, we'll cover all the different ways you can open the file and how (if possible) it can be converted to a different format.

What Is a CHN File?

A file with the CHN file extension is a data file that stores information necessary for running analysis in Qualis Research's Ethnograph software. This software is used by scientists, researchers, engineers, medical professionals, and other professions where data needs to be analyzed.

Other CHN might instead be associated with Encom's Em Vision software as some sort of 3D model, or possibly used with Marimba Network's Castanet tuner software. Another use for this file extension is as channel files used with HYPACK's Advanced Channel Design software.

Some CHN files are just EXE files that have been renamed so you don't accidentally open them. Keep reading to see how to open these types of files.

How to Open a CHN File

Some CHN files can be opened with Qualis Research's Ethnograph. The full program isn't free, but there's a link to the demo version through that link.

Encom's Em Vision is most likely how you are supposed to open CHN files that are associated with that application, but we don't have a download link to test it.

Files downloaded with the Castanet Tuner program are most likely saved with the CHN file extension. BMC purchased Marimba, the company that made the Castanet Tuner software, in 2004, and they now offer BMC Helix Client Management.

Channel files that use this file extension can be opened using Advanced Channel Design, a program associated with HYPACK software.

If you have an EXE file that's been renamed with the CHN extension, all you have to do to open it is rename the CHN part of the file to EXE. For example, if it's called file.chn, make it file.exe so it will open like a regular executable.

How to Convert a CHN File

This file extension is clearly used by a number of file formats and software programs, so the process for converting one depends entirely on how it's used. Unlike more popular file types, it's unlikely a file converter will be helpful.

You can usually use a program's File > Save As or Export menu to save an open file to a different format, so this is very likely the case with the programs mentioned above.

We assume Ethnograph and Em Vision can export files to formats that other analysis and 3D modeling programs can use, but we haven't verified that.

CHN files downloaded for use with Castanet Tuner are probably different—we take it that this format is specific to that software alone and can't be saved in any other file format.

Other software from the creator of HYPACK, like DREDGEPACK, might be what you need to convert that type of CHN file.

Some files may be titled with a .CHN extension just for temporary purposes, with the assumption that you'll rename them to end in .EXE so that you can run it like a regular application file. In these instances, you don't need to convert CHN to EXE, but instead just rename the file's extension. One example may be to rename file.chn to file.exe.

Still Can't Open It?

Opening your CHN file in Notepad++ or another text editor may be useful if the suggestions above haven't gotten you anywhere. Doing it this way will let you see the file as a text document, meaning you can see all the text that makes up the file. You might find something useful there that helps with identifying what program was used to create it.

If you still aren't able to open the file, be careful that you aren't confusing the extension with that of a CHA, CHW, or CHM (Compiled HTML Help) file, none of which open with the same programs used with CHN files.

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