What Is a TEX File?

How to open, edit, and convert TEX files

Screenshot of several TEX files in Windows 10 that open with Texmaker
TEX Files.

A file with the TEX file extension is most likely a LaTeX Source Document file created by LaTeX that's used to define the structure of a book or other document, like whether to make it into an article format, letter format, etc.

LaTeX Source Document files are plain text and might include not only text characters but also symbols and mathematical expressions.

A TEX file might instead be a Texture file. These are images that some video games use to store the texture of objects so that they appear differently than other 2D or 3D objects. Dead Rising 2 and Serious Sam are two examples of video games that use TEX files.

Note: It can be easy to confuse a TEX file with a "text file," but they're not necessarily the same thing. See the section at the bottom of this page for more information.

How to Open a TEX File

LaTeX Source Document files that use the TEX file extension can be viewed and edited in any text editor since they're just plain text files. You can use a program like Notepad in Windows, Notepad++, Vim, etc.

While TEX files are completely compatible with a text editor, they're usually only utilized within the context of a program that is meant specifically to work with LaTeX documents. On Windows, macOS, and Linux, this might include TeXworks or Texmaker. Windows users could instead use LEd (LaTeX Editor) as a TEX file viewer and editor, or proTeXt.

Tip: Some LaTeX Document files use the LTX file extension instead but they can open with the same software programs that work with TEX files.

Texture files that use the TEX file extension might be able to open with a generic image viewer like IrfanView, but you might have to first rename the file to something that the program supports, like PNG or JPG.

If a generic image file opener doesn't read the TEX file, you can try a program meant specifically for opening the video game's texture files. For example, Dead Rising 2 Tools should be able to open TEX files used with that game (though you might have to first rename it to use the .BIG file extension so that the software will recognize it).

You might have luck using a program from Croteam, the creators of Serious Same, to open that kind of TEX file.

Since some TEX textures files are actually saved in the DirectDraw Surface (DDS) file format, a tool like XnView MP, Windows Texture Viewer, or GIMP might be able to open one. Keep in mind, however, that it's possible that this will only work if you rename the *.TEX file to have the *.DDS file extension so that those programs can actually recognize the file.

Note: Windows Texture Viewer downloads as a RAR file that you'll need a file extractor like 7-Zip to open. To use DDS files with GIMP requires the DDS Plugin.

Tip: If these programs aren't working to open your texture file, you might instead be dealing with a Wii Texture file that uses the .TEX0 file extension. Those can open in BrawlBox, which is a tool included in BrawlTools.

How to Convert a TEX File

CloudConvert should be able to convert TEX to PDF if you need to save the LaTeX file to the much more popular PDF format. You can also do this with pdfTeX.

If your TEX file includes an equation that you want to convert to PNG, you can use latex2png or iTex2Img. Both are online TEX converters that have you paste the LaTeX code into a textbox to produce an image that you can then save to your computer.

The Texmaker program can convert a TEX file to a number of other TeX-related file formats like BIB, STY, CLS, MP, RNW, and ASY.

You can most likely use one of the texture file viewers from above to convert that kind of TEX file to a new file format. If that doesn't work, try renaming the texture file to .JPG or .PNG and then converting it with a free image file converter.

Is Your File Still Not Opening?

Lots of file formats use just a few letters for their file extension, so it's easy to confuse them with each other if you misread the file extension. Double-check your file to make sure it ends with ".TEX" and not something similar.

For example, you might instead have a plain text file that uses the .TXT or .TEXT suffix, and that's why it won't open with a program that you try from above. Plain text files open with a text editor, so you can't try to read one with a texture image viewer, for example.

EXT is another file extension that could easily be misread as TEX. If you have an EXT file, then you have either a Norton Commander Extension file or a generic email attachment, neither of which are related to LaTeX or texture files.

If it's not a TEX file that you have, then research the file extension you do have to learn more about how to open or convert it. If you do in fact have a TEX file that doesn't open with the programs from above, then use a text editor to read the file and see if there are any phrases or words that help identify what format your file might be in; this can help you find the program responsible for opening it.

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