Zeiss AxioVision ZVI (Zeiss Vision Image)

Extensions: .zvi

Developer: Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH

Owner: ZEISS International


BSD-licensed: No

Export: No

Officially Supported Versions: 1.0, 2.0

Reader: ZeissZVIReader (Source Code, Supported Metadata Fields)

Freely Available Software:

We currently have:

  • a ZVI specification document (v2.0.5, from 2010 August, in PDF)

  • an older ZVI specification document (v2.0.2, from 2006 August 23, in PDF)

  • an older ZVI specification document (v2.0.1, from 2005 April 21, in PDF)

  • an older ZVI specification document (v1., from 2001 January 29, in DOC)

  • Zeiss’ ZvImageReader code (v1.0, from 2001 January 25, in C++)

  • many ZVI datasets


Pixels: 5 - Outstanding

Metadata: 4 - Very Good

Openness: 4 - Very Good

Presence: 3 - Good

Utility: 3 - Good

Additional Information

Please note that while we have specification documents for this format, we are not able to distribute them to third parties.

Bio-Formats uses a modified version of the Apache POI library to read ZVI files. ImageJ/FIJI will use the ZVI reader plugin in preference to Bio-Formats if both are installed. If you have a problem which is solved by opening the file using the Bio-Formats Importer plugin, you can just remove the ZVI_Reader.class from the plugins folder.

Commercial applications that support ZVI include Bitplane Imaris.

As of May 2021, the proprietary ZEISS AxioVision software is classed as End of Support. Zeiss ZEN is the successor programme to AxioVision.