What Is an SRF File?

How to open, edit, and convert SRF files

There are several file formats that use the SRF file extension, but the most common one is as a Sony Raw Image file. These are uncompressed and unaltered, raw image files that Sony digital cameras store photos in, similar to ARW and SR2 files.

The animation software LightWave 3D uses SRF files not for photos like Sony cameras, but to store information on how a 3D surface should appear, such as the color, transparency, and shading. These are called LightWave Surface files.

Another use for some files with this extension is as Server Response files, also known as Stencils. They're used by .NET applications and may store script tags and HTML content.

Yet another format that your SRF file may be in, if none of the above, is a Surfer Project file used with Golden Software's Surfer application. It might instead be associated with Samsung smart TVs, saved as a Steinberg Resource file, called a Siebel repository file, or used to store a collection of vehicle images used by Garmin GPS systems to express a 3D perspective of the vehicle on the device.

SRF Files

How to Open an SRF File

Given the variety of applications that use SRF files, it's important to have some sort of idea what format yours is in before you try opening it.

As stated above, most SRF files are Sony Raw Image files, so if you've gotten your file from a Sony camera or you know for sure that it's that type of picture file, you can open it with Able RAWer, Adobe Photoshop, PhotoPhilia, or ColorStrokes. Some other popular photo and graphics tools will probably work as well.

If the SRF file is used with LightWave 3D, then that's the program you should have to open the file. The options this format stores are the ones found in LightWave 3D's Surface Editor window, so that may also be how you open it.

Use Microsoft's Visual Studio software to open the SRF file if it's in the Server Response file format. It should be clear whether it's in this format because they're just plain text files, meaning you can also open them in a free text editor like Windows Notepad, or even in a web browser (e.g., Firefox or Chrome).

Is your SRF file a Surfer Project file? The Golden Software Surfer program can open it. Files created in an older version of the software can be opened in the newer versions, but not vice versa; they're forward compatible but not backward compatible.

Steinberg Resource files are used with Steinberg's Cubase application to change the way that the interface and plug-ins look. While the Cubase program itself is used to work with audio files, the SRF file format is just an archive of images.

If you suspect that it's a vehicle image used with Garmin GPS systems, it can be "installed" to the device by copying it to it. You can do this by transferring it into the /Garmin/Vehicle/ folder on the GPS device. If you aren't sure if the SRF file is in this format, open it with Notepad++—the first word should say GARMIN.

We don't have any information on using SRF files from a Samsung TV except that they're either encrypted video files or a type of firmware. Keep reading through the next section below for a possible way of converting the video file to a different format.

Siebel repository files use this extension as well. You can read a bit more about them on Oracle's website.

Because of the way some of these programs work, you most likely have to use the application's File menu (or something similar) to open the SRF file instead of just double-clicking it.

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, you can change which program opens the file by default.

How to Convert an SRF File

Only the trial is free to use, but Ivan Image Converter can convert Sony Raw Image files to formats like TGA, PNG, RAW, JPG, and PSD.

It's doubtful that LightWave Surface files can be saved to any other format because they're closely related to the LightWave 3D software only, and so would be pointless to exist in any other format. However, if you can convert one, it's most likely possible through a File or Export menu in the LightWave 3D program.

Visual Studio's Server Response files are just plain text, so while you can convert them to any other text-based format (e.g., TXT or HTML) with most text editors, doing so would stop the file from working with the .NET application.

If you want to convert your Garmin SRF vehicle file to a PNG image in order to see what the vehicle pictures look like, you can use this online converter from "nuvi utilities". Just upload it to that site and then select the Convert it! button to have it converted to PNG. The result is a wide image of 36 different perspectives of the vehicle that the GPS device can use together as a 360 degrees view of the vehicle.

SRF files may be a form of an encrypted video file that has been saved to a Samsung TV. If so, you might find useful this tutorial at IvoNet.nl for converting it to an MKV video file. Once it's in that format, you might consider using a free video converter if you want the file to ultimately be saved as an MP4 or AVI video.

As for any other format that uses the SRF file extension, the same concept applies as it does with LightWave Surface files—the software that opens it is more than likely able to convert the file, but if not, it's likely that the files really shouldn't be in any other format than the one it's currently in.

Still Can't Open the File?

If none of these programs seem to open your file, check that you're not misreading the file extension.

SRT, ERF, WRF, and SWF files, for instance, have a very similar extension but have nothing to do with these formats, so they might not be able to open with the same software.