Opening DDS image files

  • This is a format Spring and CA commonly use, but very few image programs directly support it. The main benefit of it is that DDS files can stay compressed in the video RAM, improving performance and using less RAM. So thats why they are even used. Here's a few tools that can manage this image format:


  • This program is a very nice image viewer I personally use that supports DDS files. It even views dds unit textures properly, which even GIMP can't do. This isn't a good program for editing DDS's but its great for quickly viewing them. Download it here. You also need the plugin pack here.

DDS Thumbnail Viewer

  • Cool little tool by NVidia that allows you to view your dds files in thumbnails in Explorer just normal image formats like PNG or JPEG. Haven't tried it myself since I don't use Explorer, so I can't say anything about its quality. Download it here.

Nvidia Texture Tools (For Photoshop)

  • If you use Photoshop, this is what you need to edit DDS files. This plugin integrates into Photoshop and can save in compressed or uncompressed DDS formats. The plugin pack also includes plugins for Normal maps, Cube maps, and a mip-map generation script. Download it here.

-(Documentation for the above 2 tools can be found here.)


  • While a little less fancy than NVidia's DDS plugin, this is a DDS plugin for The GIMP 2.4.x does basicly the same thing. It can open and save DDS files in both compressed and uncompressed format, load cubemaps, and can generate mipmaps too. Occasionally gives a little trouble for some people, but most of the time (if not all the time) it works. Download it here.

-Hope this page helps. Kaine out.