XCF File Format
The XCF format stores a series of bitmap images (with layers, and providing for transparency and other effects).
Although there are some software programs other than the GIMP that can read XCF files, the developers of the GIMP do not recommend exchanging data in the XCF file format. The reasons for this are that the file format represents the internal data structure of the GIMP software, that details of the file format may change between minor revisions of the software (although the format has usually been backwards compatible), and that the reference documentation is the source code for the GIMP (although a specification document has been prepared by Henning Makholm, based on reading the source code).
In future (at the time of writing), GIMP developers hope to migrate the software to use a new file format, OpenRaster.
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