How To Open Gerber Files: Best Gerber Viewer Software

Do you know how to open Gerber files? Rather, do you understand the essence of proper visualizations in the design of circuit boards? 

PCB design and assembly is a lengthy process that begins with formulating the design a manufacturer intends to create. 

Nonetheless, the plan is complicated and must be great for optimal PCB performance.

 And this is where Gerber files for PCB designs come in handy. What is Gerber PCB, and what role does it play in the PCB layout design? 

Let’s find that below. 

What Is A Gerber File?

A Gerber file is a reference design document we use as a storage tool during the PCB design phase. You can identify it from its signature.GBR extension. 

This repository acts as a storage and viewer software from which designers extract their designs for imposition on a PCB program. 

You can easily tell the outward PCB design from the PCB Gerber, although you need to open it to identify the numerous design layers. 

In the next sections, we’ll cover the procedure for opening Geber files in detail. 

Role of PCB Gerber Files in PCB Manufacturing

PCB layer inner gerber. 

PCB layer inner gerber. 

PCB assembly is more sophisticated than in the past. It has increased Gerber files’ popularity as they are core to any circuit board assembly process.

The layout viewer tool is also central to the functionality of modern PCB tools like laser plotters. 

Hence, they will continue being incredibly useful in PCB manufacturing before manufacturers phase them out.

It will take a while, given the significance of Gerber tools in basic applications like making drill holes to complex tasks in assembly. 

Features of Generating Gerber Files in PCB Layout

PCB Gerber Files. 

PCB Gerber Files. 

A Gerner file comes in the ASCII vector format. But what comprises a PCB Gerber file? Here are some of the features that you can obtain from Gerber: 

  • PCB XY Coordinate settings
  • Command Codes
  • Dimensions for the macro parts and the apertures
  • Configuration components

The Best Gerber Viewer to Open the File

PCB design concept 3D PCB view blended with Gerber files of inner layers. 

PCB design concept 3D PCB view blended with Gerber files of inner layers. 

Opening Gerber files is an effortless experience when you have any of the following file viewer tools: 

  • Camtastic Gerber Viewer
  • ZofzPCB
  • Gerber Viewer
  • GerberLogix
  • GerbEx
  • ViewMate
  • Viewpoint
  • ZofzPCB
  • FlatCam
  • GerbMagic
  • DFM Now
  • GerberGrab
  • LayoutEditor 
  • GC-Prevue
  • Gerbv

So what are the primary specifications of these tools? 

  1. First, some double up as viewer and editor software. You can access functionalities such as editing the PCB designs for the latter type. 
  2. Also, they are easily accessible, and many are free. 
  3. Finally, with the viewer tools, you can obtain the dimensions of the PCB, and they also facilitate the printing on the boards during assembly. 

In detail, let us look at a few of the top file viewer and editor tools. 


This one is our best-ranking design-to-fabrication tool for PCB, especially in sophisticated PCB design applications. Its features are as follows.  

  • You can never go wrong with the ZofzPCB for complex GRB files, thanks to its ability to isolate each layer for excellent viewing. Therefore, this tool allows you to separate copper layers, solder masks and other parts that make up circuit boards. 
  • Also, it avails different viewing formats such as wireframes, CAD drawings and xrays. 
  • Thirdly, this tool is the best for those who want a comprehensive report on the errors, PCB nodes and the number of pins on your board. 
  • Again, this is the ideal tool for revealing the final appearance of your PCB, thanks to its 3D rendering feature. 
  • Also, if there are issues in the design you couldn’t detect with the 2D view, this mode will help you identify them for fixing before the actual printing. 


It is one of the best viewer tools with the following properties. 

  • It is the best viewer tool for dealing with Protel ASCII PCB and Gerber RS-274x formats. Primarily it assists in converting your files from the above forms to others, such as BMP, PDF and PostScript. 
  • Also, if you’re operating on a lead budget, this is the go-to tool, as it’s freely available despite coming with a host of incredible features. 
  • With GerbMagic, you can access numerous viewing functionalities, such as layered view and measuring tools for the spacing between the parts


It is a software tool from Pentalogix that is popular for its vast features, such as those we’ll look at in detail below. 

  • The tool enables you to zoom in on individual components on the PCB. Also, you can easily tinker with its visibility toolbar to hide/unhide some of the components from being visible. 
  • Also, this is the go-to tool when you want a range of measurement units for identifying the distance between the electronic components. 
  • You also alter the present features of the layers you’re working with, meaning you can easily change their colors and structures. 


Are you looking for a tool capable of guaranteeing the movement of the various Gerber file layers? Look no further than GerberLogix. 

  • It is a superior tool as it seamlessly estimates the distance between points and electronic components in the circuit board design. 
  • Also, if you need help getting a good visual view of the layers before printing, this tool will come in handy. It is imperative as it lets you see all the details before printing. 
  • Moreover, this is a tool that gives you a chance to change the original format to others, such as PNG and JPG, among others. Moreover, when exporting the files to various formats, you can move only the visible or the whole part. 
  • You can use the paid or free version depending on your intended use of the tool. The latter limits you in regard to using the tool for commercial applications, so go for the paid version if you’re using it commercially. 


This Gerber View software guarantees you a wide range of views for the PCB layers. 

Also, the tool is imperative in dealing with component scaling and creating a component list which is highly important for contract manufacturers. 

How to Open Gerber Files

Gerber Files. 

Gerber Files. 

How do you visualize Gerber files? It is straightforward, and there are many ways, depending on the PCB design you want to visualize. 

Take a case where you’d want to view the GBR. File extension on occasional cases. 

In that case, a tool with viewing and editing features like CAMtastic Gerber. 

Why a CAM-enabled tool? The name means that it has a Computer-Aided Manufacturing feature which is imperative for enabling excellent viewing of the design.

Here are steps on how to use the tool for opening Gerber files:

  • First, download the software and install it via the basic installation steps for any app.
  • Next, upload the Gerber file you want to view onto the software. You can perform numerous tasks from the application’s menu, such as viewing the circuit board layers. Other common actions include checking for errors in the design and rectifying them. 

If you have reservations about installing the app to your computer, probably due to space limitations, there’s another option.

 Viewing the Gerber files through online software such as Reference Gerber Viewer is also possible. 

Converting the GBR File

A 3-D Gerber File Visualization. 

A 3-D Gerber File Visualization. 

Sometimes, you may have a Geber file viewer incompatible with your file format.

 In such a case, you must change it to a compatible format to facilitate viewing and editing. 

Most of the available tools have the conversion capability. So you can change it into the following formats: 

When using online Gerber file viewers, there’s also the option of converting it to the PNG format

It is especially critical when you want to format the file using Adobe Photoshop or editors that use the PNG format. 

What Happens When You Can’t Open a Gerber File?

Sometimes, it is impossible to open the files via a particular file viewer, which indicates that it cannot fetch the file from the source. 

Consider changing the file software you’re using if this happens. 

Also, make sure the file you’re opening is in the format compatible with the tool you’re using. 


The PCB design process depends on the Gerber file as the primary template for creating and editing the plan. 

So important is a Gerber file that even modern automation technologies rely on it as the basic core building block. 

Opening a Gerber is also critical because it helps you access the various functionalities it grants you. 

We have covered the opening software and the processes you should use to view and edit PCB. Thanks for your time.