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Needing an app to open a .BDF file

Posted on 2013-12-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
A customer brought a cd to me with a file on to that has a .BDF  extension that he is wanting to excess but he does not have a clue what program was used to create the file.  I have hunted around on the internet but so far have not been able to find anything that will open it.  The closest I came to was an app called "FileViewPro", but it will only open it in bimary format and that isn't helping us any.  Any one out there have a clue what app would open this type of file?
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Question by:beemmer
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 20 total points
ID: 39703071
It is an Adobe file. According to the article below, it was used in Linux environments and is being superseded.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyph_Bitmap_Distribution_Format

You probably do not need to open it in a Windows environment.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 150 total points
ID: 39703099
It may also be a backup-to-CD/CD-RW file
(opens with this program)

- A data file for Brother BES-100E Embroidery patterns

And about half a dozen other packages (see: http://filext.com/file-extension/BDF)

It could also simply be a file extension added by a user that has nothing to do with the contents - for example the user's initials.

If it doesn't open with any of the suggested packages post the first 20 characters from the text editor view (the file header) which may also help in identifying the original source.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 330 total points
ID: 39703117
My first guess was an Adobe Bitmap Distribution Format file, as mentioned by thinkpads_user, but MASQUERAID gives excellent alternatives. If it is an Adobe glyph BDF, you'll be able to see that easily in any text editor, since these BDF files are in ASCII encoded, human-readable form. To quote from the BDF spec:
The file begins with global information pertaining to the font as a whole, followed by the information and bitmaps for the individual glyphs.
If you look in the file with a text editor, you should see commands such as:

STARTFONT
COMMENT
CONTENTVERSION
FONT
SIZE

and others. The BDF specification manual is here:
http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/en/font/5005.BDF_Spec.pdf

Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39705184
I believe I did find the software to open this file.  It is the Brother BES-100E Embroidery patterns software that we are needing.  I am going to contact Brother company in the morning and see if they can tell me where to find the software.  I did find one download location, but my antivirus program won't let me download because of infected files.  
    The Hex numbers and ASCII letters match perfectly with the binary file.  
     I will give you an update tomorrow.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 330 total points
ID: 39705250
The Brother website itself has the software for download:
http://www.brother.com/E-ftp/embroidery/software/bes100e/

Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39707775
Thanks for your help.  I downloaded the software, installed it on a windows xp machine, but now it won't open because it says that I need to be connected to a machine.  So, in the morning I am going to contact my customer.  Hopefully by tomorrow this issue can be resolved.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 330 total points
ID: 39707796
You're welcome. That makes (some) sense...the software is looking to see if the Brother machine is connected, although I'd prefer that the software be able/willing to open up existing files even if the Brother device is not found. In any case, looking forward to hearing how it goes with your customer tomorrow. Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39716303
I contacted Brother tech support and they said that I would need a security key for the software to run but they also told me that I could send them the file and they would convert the file into a different format so I could read it without the software.  I sent them the file and am waiting for their response.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 330 total points
ID: 39716837
Wow! It's been a while since I've had a piece of software that required a hardware security key (it used to be a popular mechanism to guard against piracy of high-end products). I have numerous Brother MFC devices and it's not an issue in any of those. Did they say what format they're going to convert it to?
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Author Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39716860
Here is a copy of the latest from Brother:
I have a few questions do you own the BE100 software or did you simply download a program to attempt to open the BDF file you are talking about…? The hardlock key/device is the security device to run the program for the software (BE100) if you would like you can send me the BDF file and I can convert to a DST for you or you can contact your local dealer or salesperson to purchase the latest software to open the file…
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 330 total points
ID: 39716897
OK, a DST file is an Autodesk Drawing Sheet Set file. Do you have a program that can open a DST file, such as AutoCAD or Adobe Illustrator? If not, there's a free one called Embroidermodder available at SourceForge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/embroidermodder/

I have never tried this program, so you're on your own to evaluate it. Regards, Joe
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Author Closing Comment

by:beemmer
ID: 39717600
Thanks for helping me with this issue - I  could not have done it without you.  The embroidermodder software opened up the file and displayed the image perfectly.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39717658
You're very welcome. I'm glad the Embroidermodder program worked for you. Since I had never used the program, it's great to know that it can open DST files. Thanks for posting your results. Regards, Joe
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