What Is a GRD File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert GRD Files

A file with the GRD file extension is most likely an Adobe Photoshop Gradient file. These files are used to store presets which define how multiple colors should blend together.

An Adobe Photoshop Gradient file is used to apply the same blending effect to multiple objects or backgrounds.

Some GRD files may instead be Surfer Grid files, a format used for storing map data in either a text or binary format. Others might be used as Encrypted Disk Image format files in PhysTechSoft's StrongDisk software.

GRD files in Windows 10 that open with Photoshop

How to Open a GRD File

GRD files can be opened with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements. By default, the built-in gradients that come with Photoshop are stored in Photoshop's installation directory under the /Presets/Gradients/ folder.

You can open the GRD file manually if double-clicking it doesn't result in it opening in Photoshop. To do this, choose the Gradient Tool (keyboard shortcut G) from the Tools bar. Then, at the top of Photoshop below the menus, select the color that's showing so that the Gradient Editor opens. Choose Load to browse for the GRD file.

Gradient Editor in Photoshop

Use the Save button from Gradient Editor to make your own GRD file.

Surfer Grid files that use the GRD file extension can be opened using Golden Software's Surfer, Grapher, Didger, and Voxler tools. If one of those programs won't open your GRD file, you might want to try GDAL or DIVA-GIS.

Your GRD file is most likely in one of the formats already mentioned, but if not, it might be an Encrypted Disk Image file. The only way to open it would be with the StrongDisk Pro software from PhysTechSoft, via its Mount > Browse button.

Other formats may also exist that use the "GRD" extension. If your GRD file doesn't open with the programs we've already mentioned, you might try using a free text editor to open the file as a text document. If you can manage to find any readable text in the file, like at the very top or very bottom, you might be able to use that information to research the program that was used to create your GRD file.

Considering the number of programs that might open a GRD file, it's possible you could find yourself with more than one of them installed at the same time. That's fine, but only one program can open a type of file when double-clicked. To choose which one the file defaults to, change the file associations in Windows.

How to Convert a GRD File

GRD files used in Photoshop can be converted to PNG, SVG, GGR (GIMP Gradient file), and several other formats with cptutils-online.

The ArcGIS Pro (formerly ArcGIS Desktop) ArcToolbox can convert a grid file to a shapefile (SHP file). Follow these steps on Esri's website for instructions on how to do this.

You normally need some sort of file converter before you can convert a file to a different format. However, in the case of a Surfer Grid file, you should be able to just rename the GRD file to an ASC file and then open it directly in ArcMap.

Unfortunately, Encrypted Disk Image format files used with StrongDisk can't be saved in any other format.