What's a DST File and How Do You Open One?

One file extension supports several unrelated applications

What to Know

  • Some DST files are drawing sheet sets that can be opened and converted to other formats using AutoCAD.
  • If your file is related to an embroidery format, try WilcomWorkspace, Embird's Studio, or SewWhat-Pro.
  • The DeSmuME video game emulator is another program that uses DST files, but for saved game states.

This article explains the different file formats that use the DST file extension, as well as how to open each kind and what your options are for converting your specific file to a different format.

What Is a DST File?

A file with the .DST file extension could be a drawing sheet set created by Autodesk's AutoCAD. It holds several drawing layouts (in the XML format) that were taken from DWG files.

Tajima Embroidery Format uses the DST file extension, as well. The file stores stitching information that describes how the software should control the sewing needle. It's used by a variety of embroidery machines and programs.

Other DST files might be DeSmuME save state files associated with the Nintendo DS emulator DeSmuME. These are what's created when you save the game state within that software.

DST files used with AutoCAD

How to Open a DST File

AutoCAD's built-in Sheet Set Manager tool opens DST files that are associated with that software. The same tool is used to make DST files. You can display it through View > Palettes > Sheet Set Manager.

If you're dealing with data related to the embroidery format, a few compatible file viewers include WilcomWorkspace (this is an online DST viewer), Embird's Studio, BuzzXplore (previously called Buzz Tools Plus), and SewWhat-Pro.

Some similar Tajima file formats supported by some of these other DST openers include Tajima Barudan (.DSB) and Tajima ZSK (.DSZ).

A simple text editor like Notepad++ shows some of the information in plain text, so it's only useful for reading the coordinates that the embroidery program pulls from the DST file. To open the file as an image to display the design, use a DST converter (see below).

Open save state DST files with DeSmuME. It can also create one of these files through File > Save State File.

How to Convert DST Files

AutoCAD should be used to convert its DST files to any other format. It's unlikely that a different tool can do a better job than AutoCAD itself. However, if you don't have that program, the free Filestar tool can convert from DST to over 100 other formats.

Likewise, your best option for converting an embroidery-related file is to use the same program that created it. If you don't have the original software that was used to make your specific DST file, at least try using the programs mentioned above that can open files in the Tajima Embroidery format. There might be an Export or Save As option that serves as a DST converter.

For example, WilcomWorkspace should be able to convert DST to PES if you need your file to be in the Deco/Brother/Babylock embroidery file format. That web tool also converts DST files to a large variety of file formats, including but not limited to, Janome, Elna, Kenmore, Viking, Husqvama, Pfaff, Poem, Singer EU, and Compucon.

To convert to JPG or PDF to see the pattern as an image, consider using a simple file conversion service like the free Convertio. Just upload your file to that website and choose a conversion format, and then download the converted file back to your computer.

Convertio supports a wide variety of file formats, which means you can also convert your DST file to Adobe Illustrator file (AI), EPS, SVG, DXF, and other formats. However, the quality or usefulness of a DST conversion with this tool might not be what you're after unless you merely need to confirm the image.

It's unlikely that DeSmuME files can be converted to a new format because the data is useful for games played within that specific emulator.

Still Can't Open It?

If you do in fact have a DST file, but it's not able to be viewed correctly, consider that you might be using the wrong program. For example, while embroidery files ending in DST can most likely work with any other program that opens embroidery data, they can't be read correctly with DeSmuME or AutoCAD.

If the file doesn't open with the correct program, the file itself may be corrupt. Restore from a backup copy, if you have one.

Something else to consider is that you're misreading the file extension. Some files use a file extension that resembles this one, but that doesn't mean the actual formats are related and can be used by the same software.

DSTUDIO is one example. It's used by DownloadStudio for incomplete download files. Another good example of a file extension you could mix up with this one is DTS, which could be an audio file (DTS Encoded Audio) or a text document (Device Tree Source).

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