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DirectX SDK Tools Catalog


Originally posted to Chuck Walbourn's Blog on MSDN,

In the same vein as my post on where you can find many of the samples from the legacy DirectX SDK, where you can find all the various replacements for D3DX, and the status of various DirectX components; this post is a catalog of where you can find the latest version of various tools that shipped with the legacy DirectX SDK. Lacking that, it at least provides a status or alternative for the tool.

DirectX Control Panel (DxCpl.exe)

Game Definition File Editor (GDFMaker.exe)

HLSL Compiler (fxc.exe)


Windows 8.1 SDK / Visual Studio 2013 or later
DirectX Capabilities Viewer (DxCapsViewer.exe) See DirectX Caps Viewer Update and GitHub.
DirectX Error Lookup Tool (DXErr.exe) The Visual Studio Error Lookup (under Tools) should help with many HRESULT values, particularly for development on Windows 8.x or later.

For notes on the DxErr library that the DXErr.exe tool used, see this post.
Game Definition File Validator (gdftrace.exe) See GitHub for the latest version of this tool.
Texture Conversion Tool (Texconv.exe) Texconvex.exe See DirectXTex and the texconv sample tool.
Meshconvert.exe See DirectXMesh and the meshconvert sample tool.

See also the Samples Content Exporter.
DirectX Texture Editor (DxTex.exe)

See GitHub.

The original legacy DirectX SDK tool does not support DDS files with the 'DX10' header extension, BC4, BC5, BC6, or BC7 compressed formats.

VS 2012 or later can view all DDS files supported by DirectXTex.

TxView.DLL Windows 8.1 WIC or later supports DDS format files for BC1-BC3/DXT1-5 so these show up as thumbnails and can be opened with Photo Viewer.





XACT is deprecated and is only available in the legacy DirectX SDK.

The xwbtool in DirectX Tool Kit can build XACT3-style .xwb wave banks for bulk loading of .wav files as well as streaming using DirectX Tool Kit for Audio


xWMA compression is supported by XAudio 2.7 and the Xbox One version of XAudio, but not by XAudio 2.8 in Windows 8.x.

UPDATE: XAudio 2.9 in Windows 10 and the XAudio2Redist support xWMA content.

This tool currently only ships in the legacy DirectX SDK and in the Xbox One development kit.

Microsoft XNA Test Case Tool The latest version of this tool is on Microsoft Downloads. For the latest game-specific best practices for Windows, see this post. Certification for Windows logo usage for Win32 desktop application is managed through Windows App Certification Kit (WACK)..
PIX for Windows

Legacy PIX for Windows is not compatible with the DirectX 11.1 or later runtime on Windows 8.x or Windows 7 SP1 with KB2670838. It's not compatible with Windows 10. See this post for details.

Visual Studio Graphics Diagnostics in VS 2012 Pro+, VS 2013 Express for Windows, VS 2013 Pro+, or VS 2013 Community, or later.

Graphics vendor tools from Intel (GPA), AMD (GPU PerfStudio), or NVidia (Nsight).

UPDATE: For DirectX 12 development, see PIX on Windows.

UVAtlas Tool In the legacy DirectX SDK the uvatlas.exe was a Direct3D 9 sample. You can find the latest version on GitHub.