Opening XYZ files

Did your computer fail to open a XYZ file? We explain what XYZ files are and recommend software that we know can open or convert your XYZ files.

What is a XYZ file?

The .xyz file extension is used for a data file format that was created by the Minnesota Supercomputer Center in 1990. Also known as XYZ cartesian chemical modeller input file, these XYZ files are encoded in plain text and formatted in tabular form. These .xyz files are normally found in computers with software that is used for chemical modelling, research and data analysis.

The content of an XYZ file includes meta data and atomic coordinates of XMOL molecule models in a single chemical compound. These .xyz files are normally used for 3D chemical modelling applications as well as for storing and sharing chemical data between academic groups and private scientific facilities.

To open these .xyz files, it's recommended to use the chemical modelling program that created it. Since these XYZ files are encoded in plain text format, standard text editing tools like Notepad and Apple TextEdit can also be used to open and view the content of these XYZ files.

Try a universal file viewer

In addition to the products listed above, I would suggest that you try a universal file viewer like Free File Viewer. It can open over 200 different types of files - and very likely yours too! Download Free File Viewer.

By Prof. Jones (The File Expert)

Chief Content Editor and File Expert

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