Embroidery Reader

Embroidery Reader displays PES embroidery design files, plain and simple.

The easiest way to get Embroidery Reader on a Windows PC is to download the Embroidery Reader installer.

Current version: 2.2.5 (02/24/2019)
For information on this version, see the release post.
Also check out the Embroidery Reader Facebook page and Embroidery Reader on Github.

Embroidery Reader downloads:
Please note: version 1.5.1 and earlier must be uninstalled before version 2.0 or newer can be installed.

Webmasters: Please link to this page and not to the downloads directly. Thank you.

The installer version is the easiest way to get it working, but it’s only for Windows right now. The installer can setup file associations so you can double click on PES files to open them. It also includes an uninstaller.

The zip version includes just the program files, and should work with any system that has an appropriate version of .Net or Mono installed. It does not include a way to setup file associations, however.


  • You can check for updates within the program by clicking on Help, then Check for update from the menu.
  • If you find a bug or think of a useful feature to add, please tell me about it through the contact form or the issue tracker on Github.
  • Under Windows, Embroidery Reader requires the .NET Framework 4.0 to be installed in order to run.
  • Under Linux and Mac, Embroidery Reader may run on Mono. (Most Linux distributions have Mono packages available in their repositories)
    • It still needs a few tweaks to make all the graphical elements look right when running on Mono.
    • I was able to run it on Xubuntu 8.04 by installing mono-runtime, libmono-microsoft8.0-cil and libmono-winforms2.0-cil. It can be run from a terminal by typing mono embroideryReader.exe, or mono embroideryReader.exe filename.pes to open a PES file.
    • It will build on Ubuntu (and Mac, I assume) using Monodevelop. Thanks to Ryan Lovett for testing Embroidery Reader on Mac and also testing it with Monodevelop.

PES files are used to store designs for some embroidery machines. If you open one in a text editor like notepad, the first 4 characters will be #PES. The next 4 characters tell what version the file is.

As of version 1.3.0, the PES number doesn’t really matter. Embroidery Reader skips over all the PES classes and reads the PEC section at the end of the file.

For more information about the PES file format, see the documents at https://github.com/treveradams/libpes.

Previous version for computers that can’t run version 2.0 and higher
Version 2.0 should work on all recent PCs, but there may be a few that it won’t work on. I’ve left these older downloads active for those PCs.
Older version: 1.5.1 (12/3/2013)
For information on this version, see the release post.
For information on older versions, check the Embroidery Reader tag.
Older Embroidery Reader downloads:

Webmasters: Please link to this page and not to the downloads directly. Thank you.

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