Zeiss AxioVision ZVI (Zeiss Vision Image)

Extensions: .zvi

Developer: Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH (AxioVision)

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.