How to Open, Edit, & Convert JSX Files

Screenshot of several JSX files in Windows 10 that open with Adobe After Effects
JSX Files.

A file with the JSX file extension is an ExtendScript Script file. These files have been written in the ExtendScript scripting language, which is similar to JavaScript and ActionScript but supports some additional functions.

JSX files are used for writing plug-ins for Adobe Creative Suite software like Photoshop, InDesign, and After Effects.

The file extension .JSXBIN is used when a JSX file is saved in binary.

How to Open a JSX File

Warning: JSX files are executable files, meaning that one could negatively impact the normal functioning of your computer if designed with malicious intent. You should take great care when opening executable file formats like this that you've received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See our List of Executable File Extensions for other extensions like JSX that you should watch out for.

Since JSX files are used in Adobe's programs, you can open them with Photoshop, InDesign, and After Effects from the File > Scripts > Browse... menu item. This is also where these programs import JS and JSXBIN files.

Like most source code, JSX files are really just text files, so any text editor can open them for editing. The free Notepad application included in Windows is one way to do this, but we recommend one from our Best Free Text Editors list. However, Adobe's free ExtendScript Toolkit is probably the best way to edit JSX files because it has a syntax checker, debugger, and other helpful development features.

Note: You'll need Creative Cloud installed to your computer and an Adobe user account in order to download the ExtendScript Toolkit.

Tip: Some JSX files may not be in the ExtendScript Script format and so will not open with the ExtendScript Toolkit program. If you think the JSX file you have is in a different format, try opening it with a text editor. Even if the format isn't text-only, the header in the file might give you some direction as to what sort of file it is.

If you're still having trouble, take a close look at the extension. With most having only three letters, it's sometimes easy to confuse similar-named extensions. Check that your JSX file isn't really a different file with a similar file extension, like a JSP, HSX, SXO, or CSX file.

While we don't foresee this happening very often, considering that few if any formats other than these script files utilize the JSX extension, it's possible that some program other than ExtendScript Toolkit will be configured to open these files by default. If that's the case, see our How to Change File Associations in Windows tutorial for help changing that program.

How to Convert a JSX File

The ExtendScript Toolkit program can convert your JSX file to a binary JavaScript file in the JSXBIN format.

Since JSX files are just text documents, you can also use a text editor to save the .JSX file to .TXT, .HTML, or any other text-based format you want. Keep in mind, however, that Adobe programs will only be able to execute the code in these files if they're using the JSX extension.