What Is a CXF File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert CXF Files

What to Know

  • A CXF file is a Picasa Collage file.
  • Open one with Google's Picasa program.
  • Conversions aren't helpful, but you could save one to TXT.

This article explains the various formats that use the CXF file extension, including how to open each kind and what your options are for file conversions.

What Is a CXF File?

A file with the CXF file extension is probably a Picasa Collage file. They're created by the Picasa photo editor and organizer program when a collage is built and then saved with the image files. The CXF file retains the paths and positions of the photos used in the collage.

CXF Files

Chemical Abstracts Exchange Format files that store molecular data use the CXF file extension as well. Other files that use this file extension might be Cuttlefish Extended Format files, Coordinates Export Format files, or Color Exchange Format files.

How to Open a CXF File

Picasa Collage files can be opened with Google's Picasa. This format is actually just a text file, so any text editor can open it, too, if you need to see the image paths and other things that are stored within the file itself.

Picasa is no longer available from Google; it's been replaced by Google Photos. But the link above is still a valid way to download it if you need the last released version to open and use the CXF file. There's a Mac version of Picasa here.

If your file is a Chemical Abstracts Exchange Format file, CAS SciFinder and STN Express can open it.

Some CXF files store values for a graph used with the Cuttlefish network visualization tool, in which case that program is used to open them.

Use CXeditor if you need to open a Coordinates Export Format file.

If you think your file is a Color Exchange Format file, you can read more about them in X-Rite's CxF - Color Exchange Format article. Files in this format are XML based files that store things like color measurements. You can open one with any text editor or XML viewer; Notepad++ is one popular example.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, see how to change the default program that opens CXF files in Windows.

How to Convert a CXF File

We have no doubt you could convert a Picasa Collage file to another text-based format if you really wanted to, but we can't imagine a reason to do so. The CXF file explains how the collage should appear in Picasa, so changing it to any other format would render the collage unusable.

We haven't tested it, but we're sure that a program like CAS SciFinder or STN Express can export a CXF file to a different format.

The same goes for Cuttlefish—most programs have an Export or Save as menu item that can be used to save the file to a different format.

CXeditor, linked above, can export a Coordinates Export Format CXF file to SVG, KML, EMF, Adobe Illustrator file (AI), or XAML.

If your file is a Color Exchange Format file, you can definitely save the XML-based file to another text format with Notepad++ or some other text editor program, but changing the format doesn't seem helpful here.

Still Can't Open It?

The CXF file extension looks a lot like others that belong to different file formats, like XCF, CXD, CVX, and CFX. But similar file extensions don't necessarily mean that the formats are related.

If you double-check the file extension on your file and you find that it doesn't actually read as .CXF, you'll need to do some more research to learn more about that particular format and find compatible software for it.

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