What Is an ACV File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert ACV Files

Screenshot of several ACV files in Windows 10 that open with Photoshop
ACV Files.

A file with the ACV file extension is an Adobe Curve file that Adobe Photoshop uses to store custom RBG colors that have been adjusted with the Curves tool.

Adobe Photoshop comes installed with ACV files, stored in the program's installation folder. You can also make your own custom ACV files or download ACV files from the internet, and then use the Curves tool to import them into Photoshop.

Photoshop also uses the similar AMP file format for storing the same data found in ACV files, but you're able to draw the curve yourself instead of adjust the line you're given in the Curves tool.

If you're sure the ACV file you have has nothing to do with Photoshop, it may instead be an OS/2 Audio Driver file.

How to Open an ACV File

ACV files are created and opened with Adobe Photoshop through its Image > Adjustments > Curves... menu option (or Ctrl+M in Windows). Choose the small button near the top of the Curves window in Photoshop to select either Save Preset... or Load Preset..., to make or open an ACV file.

You can also open an ACV file by saving it in Photoshop's installation directory. This will list the ACV file along with the other presets in the Curves tool. If you're importing multiple Adobe Curve files at once, this is the best way to do it.

This is the default folder used for Adobe Photoshop's Curve files in Windows: \Adobe\Adobe Photoshop <version>\Presets\Curves\.

Tip: If you have an ACV file that you're positive isn't used with Photoshop, I recommend opening it with a free text editor. Doing it this way lets you see the file as a text document. If you look through the text, you might be able to find some keywords that help you determine what program was used to create the ACV file, which is normally all you need to find the program that's capable of opening it.

OS/2 stands for Operating System/2, so an ACV that's an OS/2 Audio Driver file is an audio driver used in that operating system. It's highly unlikely that your ACV file is of this format. Frankly, if it is, you probably knew that already.

Note: Again, chances are the ACV file you have is associated with Adobe Photoshop. However, if that's not the case, or if some other program tries to open ACV files by default, and you want to change this, it's very easy to do. See How to Change File Associations in Windows for help.

How to Convert an ACV File

Common file types like DOCX and PDF are often converted to other formats using a free file converter, but ACV files don't really serve a purpose outside of the context of Adobe Photoshop, so there's no need to convert an ACV file to any other format.

If you find that your file is really just a text file, you can convert it to other text-based formats like TXT and HTML, with any text editor program. See this Best Free Text Editors list for our favorites.

Still Can't Open Your File?

The primary reason your file isn't opening at this point is most likely because you're not really dealing with an ACV file. Several other file types use a file extension that's very similar to .ACV, so if your file doesn't open with Adobe Photoshop's Curves tool, make sure you're not misreading the extension.

Some other Photoshop file types that are similar include ACB, ACF, ACO, and ACT files, but none of them open in the same way as ACV files. Other similarly named, but non-Photoshop file extensions include AC3, SCV, ASV, and CVX.

If it's not really an ACV file that you're trying to open, then research the file's true extension to learn which programs can be used to open or convert it.

However, if you do have an ACV file and it's not opening correctly with the ACV file openers above, see Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the ACV file, what version of Photoshop you're using, and what you've tried already. Then I'll see what I can do to help!

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