What Is a CV File?

CV files are used by outdated software—you still have options for opening one

What to Know

  • Some CV files are Corel Versions files that work with Corel WordPerfect.
  • Others, that are CodeView files, can probably be opened with Visual Studio.

This article explains a few formats that use the CV file extension, including how to open and convert each type.

What Is a CV File?

A CV file has a CV file extension and might be related to either Corel Versions, as an archive file type, or Microsoft CodeView, enabling a multiscreen application that supports source code editing and debugging.

Some CV files might instead be Cvip files, but we don't have any information on how it's used.

The common use of "CV" refers to a curriculum vitae, which is like a longer and more detailed version of a resume. So in this case, a "CV file" might simply be referring to a file of any type (like a PDF, DOCX, or RTF document) that is used to store a curriculum vitae.

How to Open a CV File

Computer File Search
alexsl / Getty Images

CV files that are Versions files are opened using Corel Versions, an add-on program that existed only with Corel WordPerfect 8 and 9. If you have the program on your computer, opening the file is more than likely done through an import menu of some sort and not just by double-clicking it.

Given that they're archive files, you might be able to extract usable data from these types of CV files using a free file extractor tool like 7-Zip, but doing so won't let you use the files as an add-on like they're actually intended.

A CodeView file may open with Microsoft Visual Studio considering that CodeView became an IDE and is integrated as part of that software suite's debugging tools, but we haven't been able to test this.

See How to Change File Associations in Windows for a how-to on changing the program that opens a file when you double-click it, something you'll need to do if Windows has one program configured to open CV files, but it's not the one you want to use for them.

How to Convert a CV File

We don't know of any file converter or CV opener that can convert this file type to any other format. The file formats explained above appear to be useful only in the programs they're intended for, so converting one to an entirely different format would likely be of no benefit anyway.

File conversions require an actual conversion process to take place. This means you can't just rename a file (like .CV) to another format (e.g. .ZIP) and expect the new file to behave differently at the data level. The only benefit to renaming a file instead of converting it is that a different program on your computer will be associated with opening it.

Still Can't Open It?

If you tried using the file with the programs from above but had no luck opening or converting it, double-check that the file extension is actually ".CV," and not just something that looks similar. Sometimes, the reason a file won't open with a specific program is because that one file format is being confused for another.

For example, the CV suffix looks a lot like CSV, CCV (Crystal Vision Report), CVX, and ACV, but in none of those examples can the file be used with a CV opener. Each of those files requires different programs to view or edit them, since they're in a different format.

If you don't really have a CV file, and you're not sure what to do next, search for the extension here on Lifewire or on Google to find more information about the format, which will likely lead you to an appropriate program or website to open or convert it.

Another option for opening a file that doesn't have anything at all to do with the programs or file formats talked about above, is to use a HEX editor, like HxD, and inspect the header. This might help you determine the format. A text editor like Notepad++ is another idea, which might be the solution if it ends up being just text.

If you've stumbled here wanting to convert not an actual .CV file but a curriculum vitae file, to PDF, HTML, DOCX, or some other document format, your best bet is to use a free document converter like FileZigZag.

Was this page helpful?