AOLs of graphis are giving me ARTache
January 30, 2008 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to view old AOL .art files?

A friend of mine gave me a CD of that she took around 1999-2000 and every one of the files in in ".art" format. She cant view them anymore.

I never had AOL, but supposedly they used to be able to be viewed in explorer, but microsoft removed that ability due to security concerns.

I have scoured Google, and installed a few programs that people said "should" work (ACDSee, IrfanView, XnView...) but none worked.

I even have Photoshop CS2, and that wont open them.

Is there anything I can use to view/convert these files. I'd prefer solutions that have actually worked for you :-)

I have PCs and Macs at my disposal.

Thanks in advance!
posted by sandra_s to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Thumbs Plus should be able to do it..
The offer a trial version that you can download to verify that it works for you.
posted by bakertim at 1:07 PM on January 30, 2008

The last time I had to do this, I temporarily installed AOL and used File, Open to open the files in AOL's own file viewer and then did a Save As. Admittedly that was probably back around AOL version 7.
posted by JaredSeth at 1:08 PM on January 30, 2008

Just installed Thumbs plus, no dice.
posted by sandra_s at 1:09 PM on January 30, 2008

How to view and convert oddball graphic formats.

The Apple forums also are generally very helpful in this area. I'm actually surprised Preview won't open it.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 1:11 PM on January 30, 2008

More relevant page from A slew of programs here.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 1:15 PM on January 30, 2008

Maybe the file is corrupted
posted by lohmannn at 1:28 PM on January 30, 2008

sorry thumbs plus didn't work for you.. I used it for just this purpose a few years back, and it was fine..
posted by bakertim at 1:31 PM on January 30, 2008

Internet Explorer should e able to do it, IIRC, from about V6 onwards. I seem to recal downloading a WindowsUpdate thing for support for .art files. Then you could Save As as a .bmp, then to .jpg or whatever.
posted by Solomon at 1:44 PM on January 30, 2008

Maybe try Graphic Converter?

Mac only. The product description says it can handle ART files, but it describes them as 1-bit per pixel files, made by First Publisher.
posted by zuhl at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2008

Looks like if you can get hold of Win2K, you might be in luck.
posted by Solomon at 2:10 PM on January 30, 2008

Image Alchemy (for Windows/DOS) claims to be able to handle ART files too, and also refers to them as the "First Publisher ART" format, 1-bit.

There's a demo version you can download, but it's limited to 640x480 input resolution, which these files are unlikely to be bigger than anyways. Batch operation is pretty simple:

alchlong *.art -g (will convert all to GIFs)

even if they're not actually in "ART" format, and are instead in PCX or something else weird, it should be able to automatically detect which format they're in.
posted by neckro23 at 2:12 PM on January 30, 2008

Apparently, Graphic Workshop Professional will do it, with this plugin.
posted by Solomon at 2:13 PM on January 30, 2008

Be prepared for disappointment when you do get them converted. .ART's compression was atrocious -- I recall streaky gray smears on graphics I created and knew to be clean. The compression could be turned off, but few people did.
posted by sageleaf at 2:17 PM on January 30, 2008

ART files from AOL are the Johnson Grace format mentioned by Solomon.

(I currently work for the Johnson of Johnson-Grace, who created the algorithm used to compress these images)
posted by mkb at 2:19 PM on January 30, 2008

Irfanview is an excellent all purpose viewer, converter and printer that will read every graphics format I've thrown at it.
posted by gjc at 5:23 PM on January 30, 2008

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