.PAF File Extension

There are 4 file types use the .PAF file extension:

  1. Personal Ancestral File
  2. Portable Application Installer File
  3. PARIS Audio File
  4. Packed Animation File

1. Personal Ancestral File

Personal Ancestral File
  • Developer FamilySearch
  • Popularity
    3.9 (8 votes)
  • Category Data Files
  • Format Binary

A PAF file is a genealogical database created by various genealogical management applications, such as Personal Ancestral File or Ancestral Quest. It contains family tree data, which includes ancestors, descendants, relationships, birth dates, and other genealogy information.

The PAF format was developed by FamilySearch and introduced with the release of Personal Ancestral File in 1984. The format went through various revisions over the years and other genealogical programs adopted support for the format. When a Personal Ancestral File user creates and saves a database with the software, the application stores the information in a PAF file, by default.

You can open PAF files with Personal Ancestral File. However, the program was discontinued on July 15, 2013 and is no longer available for download.

Some alternative genealogical applications for opening PAF files include RootsMagic and Incline Software Ancestral Quest. To open a PAF file with Ancestral Quest, select File → Open....

Software's name License Platforms
FamilySearch Personal Ancestral File FamilySearch Personal Ancestral File Windows
Incline Software Ancestral Quest Incline Software Ancestral Quest Paid MacWindows
RootsMagic RootsMagic Free Trial MacWindows

Updated: May 11, 2021

2. Portable Application Installer File

Portable Application Installer File

Installer for a portable application stored on a USB flash drive; can be installed and run on any Windows computer from the USB drive; includes software such as Firefox Portable, OpenOffice.org Portable, 7-Zip Portable, as well as many other games, programs, and utilities.

PAF files are similar to .U3P files, but are based on a different technology.

Software's name License Platforms
Run from USB flash drive Run from USB flash drive Windows

Updated: August 14, 2007

3. PARIS Audio File

PARIS Audio File
  • Developer Ensoniq
  • Popularity
    3.3 (4 votes)
  • Category Audio Files
  • Format N/A

A PAF file is an audio file saved in the PARIS audio format. It contains audio recorded by Ensoniq PARIS, a digital audio workstation (DAW) that was released in 1998 but is now discontinued.

Alhough Ensoniq PARIS is now discontinued, the software and the PAF format continue to be used by some audio enthusiasts. The format is supported by several audio programs, including Winamp, WaveLab, and Reaper (with libsndfile wrapper installed). You can also convert the format to the more common .WAV format in PARIS if you have access to the program.

Updated: January 27, 2018

4. Packed Animation File

Packed Animation File
  • Developer Amazing Studio
  • Popularity
    1.0 (3 votes)
  • Category Video Files
  • Format N/A

A PAF file contains a Packed Animation File (PAF) used by Heart of Darkness, a puzzle-solving PC game released in 1998. It stores one or more animated cutscenes shown during gameplay.

PAF files are rare since they are only used in the Heart of Darkness game developed by Amazing Studio. You will most likely only encounter a PAF file if you dump it from a Heart of Darkness game disc.

After dumping the game contents onto your computer, you will find a large hod.paf file that stores a large number of individual PAF files linked together. Each of the PAF files stores uncompressed audio data interleaved with video data.

There is no known program that can open and play PAF animations. However, you can convert the animation in a PAF file to a more common video file type with FFmpeg. After converting the file, you can play it with a media player, such as Microsoft Windows Media Player or Apple QuickTime Player.

Software's name License Platforms
FFmpeg FFmpeg Open Source LinuxMacWindows

Updated: January 24, 2021

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