.TEX File Extension

2 file types use the .tex file extension.

LaTeX Source Document

Developer Donald Knuth
3.7  |  126 Votes

What is a TEX file?

A TEX file is a source document prepared by LaTeX, a high-quality typesetting system. It may include text, symbols, mathematical expressions, and graphics. Academic and professional users in computer science, electrical engineering, statistics, economics, and physics often utilize TEX files when typesetting articles, books, and other publications.

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Screenshot of a .tex file in TeXworks 0.6.6
TEX file open in TeXworks 0.6.6

LaTeX documents, such as TEX files, contain plain text with tags and other LaTeX syntax that define the document's structure, such as a letter, book, or article. This formatting differs from the inline text formatting utilized in word processor documents like .DOCX and .ODT files.

Common word processors, such as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice Writer, and Corel WordPerfect, are often referred to as WYSIWYG programs. These word processors enable you to see how your text appears as you create it.

LaTeX applications, such as TeXworks and Texmaker, may be referred to as "WYSIWYM," which stands for "what you see is what you mean." Instead of seeing the text formatted in the document, a LaTeX processing system handles the visual formatting based on the tags and other LaTeX syntax defining the document's structure. Therefore, a LaTeX document may look different depending on the LaTeX application used to display the file.

NOTE: TEX files may also be saved with the .ltx (.LTX file) or .latex (.LATEX file) extension.

How to open a TEX file

You can open TEX files with various LaTeX applications, such as TeXworks (multiplatform), MiKTeX (multiplatform), and Texmaker (multiplatform).

Since TEX files store documents in plain text, you can also open and edit the files with a text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad (bundled with Windows) or Apple TextEdit (bundled with macOS). However, these text editors do not provide helpful LaTeX syntax highlighting features available with LaTeX applications.

How to convert a TEX file

Several applications, including TeXworks, LyX/Mac, and LaTeX Editor, can convert TEX files to other formats.

For example, select File → Save As... in TeXworks to convert TEX files to one of the following formats:

  • .LTX - LaTeX Document
  • .BIB - BibTeX Bibliography Database
  • .STY - LaTeX Style
  • .CLS - LaTeX Document Class File
  • .BLG - BibTeX Log File
  • .BBL - BibTeX Generated Bibliography File
  • .TXT - Plain Text
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
Open and view .TEX files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open TEX files


Texture File

Developer N/A
3.4  |  30 Votes

A TEX file may also be a bitmap image that stores textures used to create the appearance of different surfaces for 2D and 3D objects. Users will most likely encounter TEX files used in video games (such as first-person shooters) that support 3D texture mapping.

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Various video game titles are packaged with TEX files to texture the objects featured in their gameplay. Examples of these video games include Avalon Heroes (which actually uses the .DDS format for its TEX files), Serious Sam, and Dead Rising 2.

Most gamers won't encounter TEX files unless they are browsing the resources of the game in the game installation directory. In these instances, the gamers are looking to modify the TEX textures to change the appearance of objects, such as character accessories, vehicles, or weapons, in the game.

How to open a TEX file

TEX files are not meant to be opened. Instead, the game the TEX files are packaged with references the textures.

However, there are ways to open TEX files to modify them. For example, if you would like to open TEX files used by Dead Rising 2, you can replace their .tex extension with the .big extension, and then open them with Gibbed's DeadRising2 Tools in Windows.

Programs that open TEX files

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