The file extension BMP is associated with a variety of image editing applications and is a common file format for storing graphics that are not in a compressed format. BMP files are known as a Standard Windows Bitmap image and are used for a variety of different purposes in addition to being created using multiple programs and applications.
The BMP file extension is categorized as a raster image file type which contains an image that is made up of pixels. Unlike other image formats, the pixels are organized in a rectangular grid which offers a variety of different color depths. BMP files also store information which sets parameters for the number of bits per pixel in addition to other specifications such as the size of the file as well as the size of the image in terms of height and width.
BMP files can be opened and viewed using a variety of operating systems, image viewing and image editing applications. This is the reason the BMP file extension is commonly referred to as a Device Independent Bitmap (DIB) format.
How to Open BMP Files
Since the file extension BMP is a common image file format and is associated with multiple programs and applications, double click on the file to see if it will automatically open in a default program you have installed on your PC. BMP files are compatible with many viewers and image editors, so you may already have a program which will open the file.
If you are using the Windows operating system, you can open BMP files using PaintShop Pro X5 or Graphics Suite X6 image editing applications. Both applications are available in a trial version on the Corel website and are capable of importing and opening BMP files. You can also opt to use Canvas 14 or ACDSee 15 which are technical drawing applications available as a paid download on the ACDSee website.
The file extension BMP can be opened in Windows using a variety of image viewers such as Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer. Photo Viewer is typically preinstalled in the Windows operating system and can be accessed by double clicking on a BMP file in the Pictures library.
For Mac OS X, the BMP file extension can be opened using Roxio Toast 11, which is a digital media sharing application that allows you to share images as well as convert them to a different file format. Roxio Toast 11 is available as a paid download on the Roxio website. You can also opt to use ACDSee 2 to open BMP files on a Mac PC. ACDSee 2 is a technical drawing application which is available as a paid download on the ACDSee website. Apple Preview, which is an image viewing application, will also open BMP files in Mac OS X.
If you are using Windows or Mac OS X, BMP files can be opened using Adobe Photoshop CS6, which is a professional image editing application available as a 30-day free trial on the Adobe website. Photoshop CS6 is part of the Adobe CS6 Create Suite of professional applications.
Windows and Mac OS X users can also opt to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 to open the file extension BMP. Photoshop Elements 11 is an image editing application available on the Adobe website.
If you are looking for a multiplatform application which will open BMP files, you can use GIMP, which is an open source image editing application. GIMP is available as a free download on the GIMP.org website and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and the Linux operating system. You can also opt to use a multiplatform image viewer such as XnView. XnView is an open source software application which provides tools for viewing, storing, and converting more than 300 different types of graphics formats. XnView is available as a free download on the XnView website and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and the Linux operating system.
The file extension BMP can also be converted to another image format such as GIF, PDF, or EMZ for use with a broader range of applications. Any of the Adobe applications mentioned above will convert BMP files to another format. There are also a variety of file conversion programs available as a free download on websites such as CNET and Softpedia which will convert BMP files for you.
Another file conversion option is to use an online resource such as Zamzar which will perform free file conversion in a user friendly environment. Simply log onto the Zamzar website, browse for the BMP file on your PC, choose a new format, enter your email address, and click on Convert. Within minutes you will receive the newly converted file in your email inbox.