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What is .BRD File

PCB design may demand the integration of designs from several sources. It is important to ensure PCB designs are saved in the right file. If you are experiencing some problems opening your .BRD file, this article is for you.  This article seeks to discuss the .BRD file and its uses. Also, we  will discuss the uses of these files and how to handle them. 

What is a .brd File?

A .brd file is a software created to make design templates for circuitry. It is a BorderMaker file. The Autodesk EAGLE created the .brd file. You can save .brd files in the Gerber drill data format.  .BRD files are design files that comprise designs compatible with Gerber files. Also, a .BRD file comprises a PCB drawing.

EAGLE circuit board files are files saved in a BRD extension format. EAGLE PCB design software utilizes these BRD files. Also, any software that creates PCB designs is referred to as CAD software. The EAGLE software is a good example of these programs. EAGLE simply means Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor.

A BRD file features a PCB drawing. Several manufacturers and developers encode these BRD files in their proprietary formats. Therefore, third-party programs can’t open them. For instance, EAGLE encodes a BRD file as binary data or XML. However, KiCad saves its PCB layouts as plain text. A boardview is an example of .brd file. It is schematics of a PCB, its components, and more. Also, OpenBoardview can visualize the majority of BRD boardviews. Smart Charts Drug Development Suite use BRD as its data transfer format.

Easy Ways to Open a .brd File

There are several ways to open a .brd file. Follow this process:

Choose the right program

You need to select the appropriate program to open a .brd file. You can use any of the programs listed below to open a .brd file.

  • Winning Bridge Saved Hand
  • WinBoard Project
  • RPG Toolkit Board Design File
  • Allegro
  • EAGLE Layout Editor Board File
  • Pharmaceuticals Data Transfer Format
  • BizInt Smart Charts for

Note the File Type

You may open your .brd file with other programs. However, this depends on the file type. The file type is always listed in the properties of the file. All you need to do is to right-click the file on your PCB. Then select “properties” and check for “Type of File.”

If you are using a MAC computer, just right-click the file, select “More Info,” then check under “Kind”.

Ask the Developer

Also, you can contact the software developer. This is another way to  open a BRD file. Also, getting the developers for the programs used to open BRD files could be of help.

Make use of a Universal File Viewer

If all the above-mentioned methods don’t work for you, a universal file viewer is a reliable way to open a BRD file. The File Magic can open different types of files. However, this depends on the format. Also, some files may not work with these programs. Your .brd file will open in binary format if it isn’t compatible.

What is a File Extension?

A file extension is always at the end of a filename. It is a set of three or four characters.  .brd. File extensions indicate the file type and inform Windows what programs can open it. There is always a default program to each file extension. Also, the program automatically launches anytime you double-click the file. When the program is not on your computer, you can get an error when opening the associated file.

.BRD File Viewer Websites

There are a couple of.brd file viewer websites. However, not all of these websites allow you to view .brd files for free. .BRD files comprise designs compatible with Gerber files. There are several online tools where you can view Gerbel files. This isn’t the case when it comes to .BRD files.  Below are a few websites that can open .BRD files.

Altium Viewer

This is a free .BRD file viewer website. Altium viewer helps you to upload a .BRD file. However, this online tool doesn’t provide you with editing options. The .BRD file can only be uploaded and viewed in a read-only-mode. Also, you can zoom the design to have a clear view of various components. Altium viewer doesn’t require you to pay any fee or sign up.

Download the Altium viewer link and upload a .BRD file. However, this website doesn’t support .BRD files. It only allows you to open and view a .BRD file without any installation. Also, you can view the details of different components in the PCB design you are viewing.


EasyEDA is another reliable free online tool that allows you to open and view .BRD files. Unlike Altium viewer, you can upload a library .BRD file on this viewer. Also, it will open the file in an editable workspace. This online tool allows you to make changes in the BRD file.

If you want to save changes, you will need to export the .BRD file in a different format like PNG, EasyEDA and others. Also, you will need to open a free account to use EasyEDA.

Programs that Can Open and Convert .BRD Files


This is PCB design and simulation software. A PCB design created with Allegro is saved in .BRD file.


This is an open source electronics design software. This program saves PCB layouts in .BRD files.

RPG Toolkit

RPG Toolkit designed by Christopher Matthews is an application development platform for creating 2D role-playing games. The .BRD files save boards utilized in games created with RPG Toolkit.


This open source program is specifically designed for viewing electronic circuit schematics saved in different formats. Also, it can open electronic schematics saved in different formats like ASC and GAD.

Altium Designer

This is PCB design and analysis software. The .BRD file is a file type that stores PCB designs created by Altium Designer.


This article has shed more light in .BRD files and how to open it. Also, it discussed the importance of the .BRD file in PCB designs.

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