Files that contain the REF extension are associated with multiple programs and applications and various file types. The most common association is Ad-Aware, but the extension can also be created by Microsoft or Pro/Engineer. REF files contain data and information related to the program that created them.
REF files that are related to Ad-Aware are a text file type that references malware definitions for the Ad-Aware virus protection software. The files are typically found with the filename REFLIST.REF which is used with Ad-Aware by Lavasoft.
If the REF files are created by Microsoft, they are a data file type that contains shapes, classes, properties, and other elements used with the Microsoft Train Simulator. REF files of this type are Train Simulation object reference files which work with train simulation environments on your PC. The environment places you in the cab of a train with access to controls and gauges that provide a real-life experience.
Pro/Engineer REF files are a graphics and image file type that contains data related to charts, tables, graphs, and other information that is used for engineering analysis. Pro/Engineer is a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program which provides productivity tools for electromechanical design.
How to Open REF Files
Since REF files are 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. REF files can consist of different file types, so you may already have a program which will open them.
If the REF files are related to Ad-Aware, you can open them using the Ad-Aware malware protection program. Ad-Aware is available as a free or paid download on the Lavasoft website. Once you have installed Ad-Aware, you can view the contents of a REF file using any text editing program such as Notepad or WordPad for Windows, Apple TextEdit for Mac, or gEdit and Nano Editor for Linux.
REF files which are part of the Microsoft Train Simulator must be opened with the Train Simulator program, which is available for download from the Microsoft Game Studio website. Train Simulator is compatible with all versions of the Windows operating system with the exception of Windows NT.
If the REF file is a Pro/Engineer file extension, it is necessary to use the Pro/Engineer Wildfire 4.0 to open and view its contents. This program is available on the PTC website and is compatible with Windows, Linux and UNIX.