What Is a TEX File?

How to open, edit, and convert TEX files

What to Know

  • Some TEX files are LaTeX source documents.
  • Open one with a text editor, like Notepad++.
  • Convert to PDF, TXT, or MD with CloudConvert.

This article explains two file formats that use the TEX file extension, plus how to open your file on your computer and how to convert it to a different file format.

What Is a TEX File?

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.

These are plain text files that might include not only text characters but also symbols and mathematical expressions.

TEX files that open with Texmaker

Other TEX files are most likely images used by some video games to store the texture of objects so they appear differently than other 2D or 3D objects. Dead Rising 2 and Serious Sam are two examples of video games that use this type of texture file.

It can be easy to confuse a TEX file with a TXT file, but they're not necessarily the same thing.

How to Open a TEX File

LaTeX documents can be viewed and edited in any text editor, since they're just plain text files. Notepad in Windows, Notepad++, and Vim and are some examples of text editor programs.

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

Some LaTeX documents 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 probably 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 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 for the software to recognize it).

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

Since some texture 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 this will only work if you rename the *.TEX file to have the *.DDS file extension so those programs can actually recognize the file.

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.

How to Convert a TEX File

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

If your TEX file includes an equation that you want to convert to PNG, use latex2png or iTex2Img. Both are online converters that have you paste the LaTeX code into a text box 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 file to a different format. If that doesn't work, try renaming it so it uses the .JPG or .PNG extension, and then convert it with a free image file converter.

Still Can't Open It?

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, if the programs above 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, a tool included in BrawlTools.

Or, you might instead have a plain text file that uses the .TXT or .TEXT suffix, and that's why it won't open. 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 one of these files, you have either a Norton Commander Extension file or a generic email attachment, neither of which are related to LaTeX or textures.

If it's not a TEX file that you have, 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, 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.

  • Can you open TEX files on mobile devices?

    Yes. Much like you can view other plain-text files, like TXT files, on mobile devices, TEX files can be opened the same way. Plain-text support is a core component of modern mobile operating systems.

  • Can you download TEX files from Overleaf?

    Yes. You can download projects on Overleaf in a variety of formats including TEX files.

  • Can you download .TEX files from ShareLaTeX?

    Yes. You can download PDFs or the project in its entirety, packed in a ZIP file, from ShareLaTeX.

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