Filename extension .ora
Internet media type image/openraster[1]
Type of format Layered raster graphics
Extended from OpenDocument
Open format? Yes

OpenRaster is a file format proposed for the common exchange of layered images between raster graphics editors. It is meant as a replacement for later versions of the Adobe PSD format. OpenRaster is still in development and so far is supported by a few programs.[2] The default file extension for OpenRaster files is ".ora".


The Adobe Photoshop PSD file format was widely used as a cross-application file format for layered images. Adobe allowed this by releasing the format's specifications publicly. In 2006 Adobe changed this license to only grant access to and use of the specifications and documentation "for the purposes of internally developing Developer Programs in connection with Adobe Software products and incorporating portions or all of the Sample Code into Developer Programs."[3] In response to these restrictions, the OpenRaster format was proposed by KDE and Krita developers Boudewijn Rempt[4] and Cyrille Berger[5] at the first Libre Graphics Meeting at Lyon, France in the spring of 2006 and is drawn from the Open Document Format.[6]


Following features should be present:





Proposals and extensions


According to the draft specification (as of October 2010), a major challenge for a cross-application format is that because not all of the features are available in all the programs, an image won't be displayed the same way in different applications, especially for adjustment/filters layers.

A likely work-around is the optional storage of a redundant extra layer containing the fully rendered pixel data as seen after all image processing, or possibly a lower-resolution snapshot of it suitable for previewing and thumbnailing.

Different implementations levels might be defined, like, tiny, simple, small, normal, full and custom.

Application support

OpenRaster has limited support in a few graphics programs and among these its cross-application use is not seamless.

Application Status
DrawPile Basic (development version)[7]
GIMP Fundamental support with version 2.8.[8]
Inkscape Unsupported
Krita Supported.[9]
LazPaint Reading since version 5.0 and writing since 5.2[10]
MyPaint Default working file format.[11]
Nathive Default format since 0.908.[12]
Pinta Supported starting with version 0.4.[13]
XnView Supported starting with version 1.98.1[14]
Scribus Supported starting with version 1.5[15]

See also


  2. OpenRaster Specifications Create Project OpenRaster wiki. Accessed 2010-03-26.
  3. "Adobe Photoshop CS4 SDK License Agreement" Developer Connection - Developer Resources. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
  6. "Debate arises over an open raster graphics format" Nathan Willis, Archive. July 07, 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  7. SCM Repositories - drawpile Sourceforge Drawpile project. June 14, 2009. Accessed 2010-03-26.
  8. GIMP - Release Notes for GIMP 2.8 Accessed 2012-05-03.
  9. Krita/OpenRaster status KOffice Developers Wiki. Accessed 2010-03-26.
  10. LazPaint thread, 2013-02-27
  11. "MyPaint/OpenRaster News" Alexandre Prokoudine, - blog. June 8th, 2009.
  12. "Nathive 0.908 release notes" Nathive website documentation
  13. "Pinta - Version 0.4 Release Notes". 2010-07-06.
  14. "XnView release notes" XnView forum announcement
  15. "Scribus mailing list" Scribus mailing list announcement
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