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What are ABC files and how to open them

Are you having problems opening an ABC file or are you simply curious about its contents? We're here to explain the properties of these files and provide you with software that can open or handle your ABC files.

What is an ABC file?

ABC files have multiple uses, and ABC FlowCharter document is one of them. Read more about the other uses further down the page.

ABC FlowCharter document

ABC FlowCharter is a flowchart program created by Micrografx launched in 1995. This application is used to make, edit and print flow diagrams and organization charts, and these documents are saved as .ABC files. It combined the ABC Toolkit from Micrografx with other tools and templates to create a unique flowchart program. Making use of intelligent line routing, the software automatically routes connecting lines around other shapes. This made for an easy-to-use and visually appealing flowchart application. The newest version of the software is now known as iGrafx FlowCharter.

How to open ABC files

Important: Different programs may use files with the ABC file extension for different purposes, so unless you are sure which format your ABC file is, you may need to try a few different programs.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested ten different ABC openers which you will find listed below.

Last updated: July 31, 2023

All known file formats using extension .ABC

While ABC FlowCharter document is a popular type of ABC-file, we know of 3 different uses of the .ABC file extension. Different software may use files with the same extension for different types of data.

ABC notation

Making use of ASCII values, the ABC notation is a text-based musical notation format. This format is mostly used for traditional or folk music. ABC notation uses the letters A to G to represent notes and uses symbols and numbers to represent the length, sharps, ornaments, flats, etc. It is crucial that every ABC file starts with the string "%abc". The file consists of three parts, the header, the tune header, and the tune body. The header contains the typesetting and stylesheet. The tune header holds the metadata and other information like the type of key and the next tune's note length. The tune body consists mostly out of the ABC music code. Adding these 3 parts together gives us the final ABC notation file.


We know that one ABC format is LEADTOOLS ABC bitmap. We have not yet analyzed in detail what these files contain and what they are used for. We're working on it.

Various apps that use files with this extension

These apps are known to open certain types of ABC files. Remember, different programs may use ABC files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

iGrafxiGrafxUser submitted
Micrografx ABC FlowCharterMicrografx ABC FlowCharterUser submitted
ABC FlowCharterABC FlowCharterUser submitted
Indentsoft Advanced Business Card MakerIndentsoft Advanced Business Card MakerUser submitted
Advanced Business Card MakerAdvanced Business Card MakerUser submitted
Bagpipe Music Writer GoldBagpipe Music Writer GoldUser submitted
ABC PlayerABC PlayerUser submitted
Micrografx FlowCharterMicrografx FlowCharterUser submitted
ABC SlipABC SlipUser submitted

Help us help others

File.org helps thousands of users every day, and we would love to hear from you if you have additional information about ABC file formats, example files, or compatible programs. Please use the links below or email us at submit@file.org to discuss further.