.SHP File Extension

2 file types use the .shp file extension.

3D Studio Shape

Developer Autodesk
3.6  |  51 Votes

What is an SHP file?

An SHP file is a shape file created by Autodesk 3D Studio, a 3D modeling tool for DOS. It contains one or more user-drawn polygons. 3D Studio for DOS is discontinued, but Autodesk 3ds Max users can import and use the shapes that SHP files contain.

More Information

Autodesk 3D Studio was the precursor to 3ds Max. Just like 3ds Max, 3D Studio allowed users to create 3D models and animations.

In 3D Studio, users could use the 2D Shaper to draw one or more 2D polygons. They could then save these drawings as SHP files (allowing them to reuse their drawing across multiple models).

How to open an SHP file

You can open an SHP file with Autodesk 3ds Max (Windows):

  1. In 3ds Max, select File → Import.
  2. When the Select File to Import window appears, set the Files of Type dropdown to 3D Studio Shape.
  3. Navigate to and import your SHP file.
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Programs that open or reference SHP files


ESRI Shapefile

Developer ESRI
3.0  |  20 Votes

Data set used by ESRI ArcView, a geographic analysis application; stores a collection of geographic features, such as streets, points of interest, and zip code boundaries; can be used to store point, line, or area features.

More Information

Each object within a SHP file contains an individual geographic feature and its attributes.

NOTE: ArcView is part of the ArcGIS software suite.

Programs that open SHP files

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