X-Grinder Manual

X-Grinder is an application that lets you utilize command-line utilities to process files using a drag & drop interface, with menus to select from the various tool options.

X-Grinder is meant to replace the “user interface” versions of DSF2Text and ObjConverter; instead, one drag-and-drop tool provides user interface to both of these utilities, as well as the DDSTool for image file conversion.

System Requirements and Installation

X-Grinder will run on any system that can run X-Plane; minimum operating systems are:

  • OS X 10.3.9 (OS X 10.4 recommended)
  • Windows 98 SP2 (Windows XP recommended)

Important: X-Grinder needs to sit in the same directory as the command-line tools that it will provide access to! If you unzip the basic tools installation, this will already be the case. If you move X-Grinder, be sure to move the tools too!

Using X-Grinder

When X-Grinder is running, a single window will show the status of conversion; drag files to this window to convert them. A series of menus will let you configure options for each tool.

Documentation on tool-specific options can be found in the manual for each tool (see the directory for the tool manuals here).

The convert menu will contain a series of options for a given file format (grouped by extension of the file to be translated) and indicate which tool will do the conversion.

For Developers: Integrating with X-Grinder

If you make a command-line tool that processes single files, you can integrate your tool with X-Grinder. Your tool must meet the following requirements:

  • OS X: the tool must be a non-bundled command-line tool. X-Grinder avoids launching bundles to avoid triggering GUI-based applications in the same folder as X-Grinder.
  • Windows: the tool must be flagged or the command-line subsystem, not the GUI subsystem; this avoids triggering apps with UI.
  • Both: the tool’s file must be marked executable on disk (on Windows this is faked by the OS; your tool must have the extension .exe).
  • Both: your tool must, when run with the single command-line argument –auto_config, print to standard output a series of “script” commands to indicate its capabilities to X-Grinder.

The basic syntax of the configuration output is as follows:

CMD <src extension> <dst extension> <cmd line>

This indicates one possible conversion.

    • Src extension is the extension that this tool converts from.
    • Dst extension is the extension that this tool converts to.
    • Cmd line is the shell line to run, with spaces allowed.

For the shell line, be sure to quote paths that might contain spaces in them. Any tokens defined by options below will be substituted before running. The special tokens INFILE and OUTFILE are the names of the input file (as dragged) and the output file (the input file with the suffixes revised).

OPTIONS <menu name>
Defines a new menu for tool-specific options; options that follow will go in this menu.

Defines a divider in the menu

RADIO|CHECK <token> <initial> <flag> <menu name>

  • Token is the name of the token that will be substituted in the command line; the substitution happens for all conversions for your tool, but not for other tools.
  • Initial: 0 or 1 indicating the initial value for this menu item; use this to configure defaults.
  • Flag: the flag that will be passed to your tool in place of the token if this item is picked.
  • Menu name: the name of the menu item, spaces allowed.

If the option is a radio button, only one menu item that shares this token can be selected at once. If the option is a check-box, then all of the items are independent. Note that if a check-item is 0, the token will be the empty string.


./DDSTool –auto_config

RADIO DDS_MODE 1 –png2dxt Auto-pick compression
RADIO DDS_MODE 0 –png2dxt1 Use DXT1 Compression (1-bit alpha)
RADIO DDS_MODE 0 –png2dxt3 Use DXT3 Compression (high-freq alpha)
RADIO DDS_MODE 0 –png2dxt5 Use DXT5 Compression (smooth alpha)
RADIO DDS_MODE 0 –png2rgb Use no compression (requires mipmap)

2 comments on “X-Grinder Manual

  1. Xgrinder will not work for me on my Mac. When i drop a .png file into Xgrinder it says no converter for png file. There are no submenus and options to select when Xgrinder is open. I have read the user manual and have my directories setup as documented.
    Furthermore when i try to use the command line tools in terminal the ddstool says cannot read png file.
    I am familiar with and have used many times the terminal in mac os with command line tolls for other things.
    The documentation on these tools seems to be very old. Perhaps the OS changes in Mac have made this version broken?

    I run Mac OS Mojave.

  2. 32-bit apps are not supported anymore in MacOS 11.x +. Any plans to update X-Grinder to 64-bits? Or is the conversion of textures from .png to .dds disappearing in the next generation of X-Plane?

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