PIC File: The Ultimate Guide to PIC Files

The internet today is riddled with all kinds of file types, with new ones coming up each day. Among the great discoveries that came in the '80s was John Bridges' development of the PIC file — an image file format that served professional graphics designers. It was an industry standard in the 1980s and '90s, and if you are a graphic designer today, you are still likely to come across it at some point.

But unlike other more popular file types like JPEG or JPG, which would open the moment you double-click on them, PIC files usually need the help of third-party applications to access. In this article, we shall discuss all about PIC files and see how you can easily open them.

What is a PIC file?

The PIC file is an image file saved in PICtor raster image format. It was one of the first widely acknowledged DOS imaging standards and is now mainly used by Graphics Animation System for Professionals (GRASP) and Pictor Paint.

The best part about PIC files is that they store a run-length encoded image, which includes the color map, colors, and size of the picture. It also supports a vast number of planes per pixel and can store images that can be incorporated into 3D scenes.

PIC files are also linked to high-resolution images, which are saved in the Pixar Picture file Format. On top of that, this format has the ability to compress or decompress image data using the Run-length Encoding (RLE) compression.

Are PIC files dangerous?

In their basic state, PIC files are not at all harmful. Nonetheless, they are still susceptible to malware which can be intentionally embedded in the file. For this reason, you are advised to avoid opening any file coming from an unknown source.

You can also prevent such an attack by installing an antivirus program or updating Windows, which has its own built-in antivirus.

How to open a PIC file

For PIC files to be opened, you'll first need to install software that is compatible with PIC files. Without appropriate software, you'll likely receive a message from Windows saying, “Windows can't open this file" or "How do you want to open this file?"

PaintShop Pro is one of the leading cross-platform image editing and graphic design software out there today. It can support all kinds of file formats, including PIC, PNG, PNS, and PPM files, among others. You can easily open any one of these files using its PMView feature.

To open a PIC file:

  1. Navigate to the PaintShop Pro website, download and install the application.
  2. To avoid any challenges, ensure that the version of PaintShop Pro installed is up-to-date. If not, the update can still be found on the official site.
  3. Make PaintShop Pro the default program for opening PIC files on the device. If the file is a genuine PIC file, you should have no problems from this point.
  4. To open the file, simply double-click on it. Alternatively, you can right-click on the file, click "Open With," and choose PaintShop Pro as the application.


As a graphic designer, it's always a good idea to get acquainted with different file formats and their use. As you've seen, you only need to download compatible software to open or manipulate the files.

The good thing about PaintShop Pro is that it works with a variety of such files. Other than just PIC files, it should be able to handle all your other needs, including photo video editing. So feel free to visit our website today and download the PaintShop Pro free trial.

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