.XBM File Extension

X BitMap Graphic

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Category Raster Image Files
Format Text

What is an XBM file?

An XBM file is a bitmap image used by the X Window System (X11), a GUI used to manage networked client-server computers. It contains C code that defines the image's appearance. Primarily, XBM files contain cursor and icon images.

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Screenshot of a .xbm file in XnViewMP
XBM file open in XnViewMP

Developers creating C programs for the X Window System can embed XBM, or X BitMap, images into those programs. Each XBM image consists of plain text C code that looks something like the following:

#define 2x2_width 16
#define 2x2_height 16
static char 2x2_bits[] = {
0xff, 0xff, 0xff, 0xff, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33, 0xff, 
0xff, 0xff, 0xff, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33, 0xff, 0xff, 
0xff, 0xff, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33, 0xff, 0xff, 0xff, 
0xff, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33, 0x33};

When displayed in a program or opened in an image viewer, an XBM file appears as a monochrome image. The image's appearance is defined by its width, height, and bits settings.

NOTE: The .XPB format eventually replaced the XPM format.

How to open an XBM file

You can open an XBM file with many image viewers and editors, including XnViewMP (multiplatform), IrfanView (Windows), ImageMagick (multiplatform), and GIMP (multiplatform), and Tom's Editor (Web).

You can also open an XBM file with Microsoft Notepad (Windows), Apple TextEdit (Mac), or any other text editor, to view the C code the file contains.

How to convert an XBM file

You can use ImageMagick, GIMP, Tom's Editor, or XnViewMP to convert XBM images to other image formats. For example, XnViewMP can convert XBM files to the following formats (and many others):

  • .JPEG - JPEG Image
  • .GIF - Graphical Interchange Format
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .TIFF - Tagged Image
  • .BMP - Bitmap Image
  • .PCX - Paintbrush Bitmap Image
  • .TGA - Targa Graphic
  • .JP2 - JPEG 2000 Core Image
  • .JXR - JPEG XR Image
  • .WEBP - WebP Image
Open and view .XBM files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open XBM files

Updated January 9, 2023

Verified by FileInfo.com

The FileInfo.com team has independently researched the X BitMap Graphic file format and Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android apps listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

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