What Is an XSD File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert XSD Files

Screenshot of several XSD files in Windows 10 that open with Notepad
XSD Files.

A file with the XSD file extension is most likely an XML Schema file; a text-based file format that defines validation rules for an XML file and explains the XML form.

XML files can reference an XSD file with the schemaLocation attribute.

HobbyWare's Pattern Maker cross stitch program also utilizes the XSD extension for its format.

How to Open an XSD File

Because XSD files are text files that are similar in format to XML files, they follow the same sort of open/edit rules. However, most questions regarding XSD files revolve around how to create them; I found this great blog post about creating XSD files.

SchemaViewer is a free program that will display XSD files in the proper tree format, which makes them easier to read than with a simple text editor like Notepad. The only Visual XSD tool can do this too.

XSD files can open with Microsoft Visual Studio, XML Notepad, and EditiX XML Editor as well.

You can also use a text editor as an XSD viewer and editor, given that the file is just a text file. See some of our favorites in this list of the Best Free Text Editors.

If you're dealing with an XSD file used with Pattern Maker, you can, of course, open it with that software. However, for a free way to open and print the pattern file, HobbyWare offers the Pattern Maker Viewer program. Just drag the XSD file into the program or use the File > Open... menu. This viewer also supports the similar PAT format.

The Crossty iOS app can open cross stitch XSD files too.

How to Convert an XSD File

The easiest way to convert an XSD file to another format is to use one of the XSD editors from above.

For example, Visual Studio can save an open XSD file to XML, XSLT, XSL, DTD, TXT, and other similar formats.

JSON Schema Editor should be able to convert XSD to JSON. See this Stack Overflow thread for some more information on the limitations of this conversion.

If what you're looking for is an XML to JSON converter, there's this online XML to JSON converter that you can use to do that.

The XML Schema Definition Tool can convert XDR, XML, and XSD files to a serializable class or dataset, like the C# class.

You can use Microsoft Excel if you need to import data from an XSD file and put it into an Excel spreadsheet. In this "How to convert XSD file to XLS" question on Stack Overflow, you can see how to create an XML source from the XSD file, and then drag and drop the data right onto the spreadsheet.

It's likely that the Pattern Maker program I mentioned above (not the free viewer) can be used to convert an XSD cross stitch file to a new file format.

Still Can't Open the File?

If your XSD file doesn't open with the programs and tools from above, there's a good chance that you're not really dealing with an XSD file at all, but instead a file that shares a similar file extension.

For example, the XDS suffix looks an awful lot like XSD but is instead used for DS Game Maker Project files and LcdStudio Design files. Neither of those file formats are related to XML files or patterns.

The same concept applies to many other file formats, like XACT Sound Bank files that use the .XSB file extension. They are sound files that will not open with any XSD opener or file converter.

If your file doesn't end with .XSD, research the suffix to find which programs are able to open or convert that specific file type.

However, if you do in fact have an XSD file but it's not working with the suggested software on this page, see Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the XSD file and I'll see what I can do to help.