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CFX - The Compound File Explorer.

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The Compound File EXplorer (CFX) is a Windows® developer's tool for examining and editing the structure and contents of OLE structured storage files (aka 'compound files'). Compound files - used, for example, by Microsoft Office applications to store documents - allow the application developer to store information streams in a structured, hierarchically-organised, single file.

Several advantages can be gained from using Compound Files. For the developer, different types of information can be organised and navigated more easily without having to resort to a multi-file document structure (and all the maintenance issues that presents), and without you having to be concerned about the mechanics of data organisation.

Single-file structured documents become more manageable for your users too, and more easily portable.

That said, there are few testing and debugging tools available for the developer working with compound files. CFX is a tool designed to assist in the development and debugging process, by providing you with an intuitive and detailed view of the structure and content of any compound file, and facilities to edit its structure and content.

Key Features

CFX will display:

  • The full hierarchy of the elements of a compound file: storages, streams and property sets.

  • For each storage element you can see various statistics such as the storage name, creation, modification and last access times, Class ID and state bits.

  • For each stream you can view statistics such as the stream name and size, together with a full dual hexadecimal- and text-view of the stream contents, with data elements interpreted in a variety of formats.

  • For property sets (such as the standard SummaryInformation and DocumentSummaryInformation streams) you can view stream statistics and a listing of all the properties defined, including their IDs, names (if any), data types and, for most properties, their values.

CFX also provides features for editing compound files:

  • You can rename, add or delete storages, streams and property sets.

  • You can edit, add or delete properties within property sets.

  • You can edit the data content of streams.

  • You can load data streams from other files, or merge the storages, streams and property sets from one compound file to another.

  • You can use drag-and-drop techniques to reorganise the elements of a compound file, or to copy or move elements between compound files or between CFX and the Windows Explorer.

You can use CFX to analyse, construct, restructure or repair your applications' document files (or even compound files created by other applications). We at CoCo Systems use it to assist in our own product development, where it has proved invaluable in migrating documents to new structures, and in analysing the structure and content of compound files (written by other applications) that are read by our VisiMap Professional 4.0 product.

System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for CFX are:

  • An 80486 or later processor (a Pentium 300MHz or better processor is recommended).

  • Windows 2000, XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

  • 800x600 or better display resolution.

  • 3Mb of free disk space (plus 3.5Mb for the installation kit).

Download CFX Now!

Licensed users can download CFX to install or update their current copy using the link below. If you are not a licensed user, you can install CFX for evaluation for up to 30 days:

Download CFX

Description: Compound File Explorer (CFX)
Version: 1.8.5 (Build 200)
File name: CFX_Install.exe
Format: Self-extracting, self-installing .exe file (3.5 Mb)
Last updated: 15th June, 2020
To install: Run the file and then follow the on-screen instructions.

Note to existing customers: If you have an earlier version of CFX, please note that new features and fixed issues have been added as follows:

  • (v1.8.5) Added multiple file drag-and-drop support, making it easy to add multiple files as streams and/or merging multiple compound files in a single operation.
  • (v1.8.5) Added multiple file import into an existing storage element.
  • (v1.8.5) Replaced some keyboard shortcuts to better reflect contemporary de-facto usage.
  • (v1.8.0) Fixed incompatibilities with DEP and EAF. NB: Achieving compatibility with DEP and EAF required a replacement of the licence management technology used in CFX. As a result, licence keys issues for earlier versions of CFX will not work with version 1.8.0 and above. Customers with valid licence keys for earlier versions will be entitled to a free replacement licence for version 1.8.0. Please contact us with your request, and include your current licence details to help us verify your entitlement.
  • (v1.7.60) Fixed main window display issue on Windows 7.
  • (v1.7.60) Eliminated need for administrator privileges under Vista/7/2008.
  • (v1.7.60) Corrected folder permissions on CFX's folder in the All Users/ProgramData folders.
  • (v1.6.40) Fixed issue whereby mouse movements during keyboard entry while stream editing could cause a data entry problem.
  • (v1.6.30) Fixed issue whereby changes to streams in sub-storages of a compound file would not always stick.
  • (v1.6.20) Added Windows Vista compatibility.
  • (v1.6.20) Toolbar is now customisable (add/remove buttons, and show large/small icons), and can be docked to any form edge or made floating.
  • (v1.6.20) Under certain circumstances, if the only changes to a file are changes to a single stream's contents CFX would not prompt to save when closing the file, and an exception could be generated. This is now fixed.
  • (v1.5.12) In the stream editor, Ctrl+A will now select all the stream contents, and Shift+Left Click with the mouse will now extend the selection from the current caret position.
  • (v1.5.12) Fixed erroneous persistence of stream selection when switching from one stream to another.
  • (v1.5.11) No functional changes - cosmetic update for changed company details only.
  • (v1.5.10) Fixed exception that could rarely occur when closing CFX via its system close button.
  • (v1.5.10) Fixed CFX status bar hint in Windows explorer for WinNT/2000/XP/2003.
  • (v1.5.10) Fixed cropped "offset" text in stream viewer.
  • (v1.5.9) Fixed all local date/time values, and now shows time zone (local or UTC) on all displayed date/time values.
  • (v1.5.8) Fixed erroneous saving of data to registry (it is now correctly saved to the product ini file).
  • (v1.5.7) Fixed issues with persistent form placements on multi-monitor systems.
  • (v1.5.6) Fixed startup when trial period has expired (CFX now correctly prompts for licence key).
  • (v1.5.4) Fixed bug where editing of string properties could cause corruption of the property's string (bug was introduced in v1.5.1).
  • (v1.5.4) Leading and trailing spaces are no longer erroneously trimmed from edited string properties.
  • (v1.5.4) Fixed access violation that occurred when importing a compound file's contents into the root storage of the open file.
  • (v1.5.1) The property set viewer now allows viewing and editing of VT_BLOB and VT_BLOB_OBJECT data.
  • (v1.5.1) Fixed possible exception on changing tree selection when modified stream changes are pending.
  • (v1.5.1) When adding a new property to a property set, the new property is automatically selected.
  • (v1.5.1) After adding/changing/deleting a property, the selected property is now kept in view.
  • (v1.5.1) Fixed tool bar button responsiveness on pre-WinXP systems, after the Open button is used.
  • (v1.5) The stream viewer now allows full editing of stream data.
  • (v1.5) Stream data can now be diaplayed in either binary, octal, decimal or hexadecimal notation.
  • (v1.5) The performance for loading large streams has been vastly improved.
  • (v1.5) Internal Unicode improvements now mean, for instance, streams in .msp files (MSI patch files) are now handled correctly.
  • (v1.5) New data types have been added to the stream values list: Unicode string (little-endian), Unicode string (big-endian) and ANSI string.
  • (v1.0.4) Adds a command to make it easier to save streams or sub-storages to another file. The command appears on the main toolbar and on the file tree's right-click context menu. This command complements the existing drag-and-drop facility to accomplish the same.
  • (v1.0.3) Fixes an occasional bug on program exit experienced by some users; and
  • (v1.0.3) Fixes editing of properties in property sets attached to sub-storages (editing of property sets in the root storage was OK).
  • (v1.0.3) Fixes occasional exceptions on deleting streams.

To update your copy to the latest version, just download and install. This version will work with your existing licence.

The following issues are known to exist in the latest version of CFX:

  • Filenames with Unicode characters are not supported by drag-and-drop to/from Windows Explorer.
  • CFX's shell context menu integration is not available on 64-bit versions of Windows.


To use CFX beyond the 30-day evaluation period, you must register your copy with us. The cost to register CFX is GBP 20.00.

NB: This price is subject to change without notice, and is subject to applicable taxes.

To order

Please place your registration order for CFX via the ShareIt! registration service (the ShareIt! CFX product ID is 154947).

Technical Support

Technical support for CFX is available by e-mail at
Last Modified: 15 June, 2020
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