PCX, standing for PiCture eXchange, is an image file format developed by the now-defunct ZSoft Corporation of Marietta, Georgia, United States. It was the native file format for PC Paintbrush and became one of the first widely accepted DOS imaging standards, although it has since been succeeded by more sophisticated image formats, such as BMP, JPEG, and PNG. PCX files commonly stored palette-indexed images ranging from 2 or 4 colors to 16 and 256 colors, although the format has been extended to record true-color (24-bit) images as well.
PCX was designed during the early development of PC display hardware and most of the formats it supported are no longer used, Table A shows a list of the most commonly used PCX formats. Contemporary image editing programs may not read PCX files that match older hardware.
PCX is supported by common image processing software including ACDSee, GIMP, ImageMagick, IrfanView, LView, Netpbm, PaintShop Pro, Photoshop, Visio, PMview, XnView and GraphicConverter. In version 2.1.4 FFmpeg could encode and decode the PCX pixel formats rgb24, rgb8, bgr8, rgb4_byte, bgr4_byte, gray, pal8, and monob.
There is a multi-page version of PCX, used by some computer fax and document management programs, with file extension .dcx. A DCX file consists of a header introducing a set of following PCX files.