What Is the File Extension SAI?


Files ending in .sai are relatively rare, since this extension is reserved for a few specialized uses. Several different programs and utilities save files in the .sai file format, including digital painting utilities, accounting programs and genetics utilities. If you receive a .sai file, ask the sender what type it is, so you'll more easily be able to find a compatible program.


  • Easy Paint Tool SAI, a lightweight Japanese painting program made to simulate real media, uses .sai as its native format. This file format saves layer information, simple vector drawings and other image-specific data. Only Paint Tool SAI will open files with this extension. To open drawings made in SAI in another program, save them as .jpg or .psd files. SAI files can contain special information, such as simple vectors, that other file types don't. The program converts this data to a regular raster image upon export.

Accounting Data

  • A .sai file accompanied by a .saj folder indicates an accounting file for the program Simply Accounting. This software stores the database information in the .sai file and the background information in the .saj folder. Keep both parts together to open the file successfully. Both the .sai and .saj files must retain the same name to open correctly. This kind of .sai file is native only to Simply Accounting and won't open in other programs.

Genetic Information

  • Programs for viewing genetic information store it in a Sequence Alignment/MAP, or SAM file. This type of file can be indexed and sorted by start position. The Interactive Genomics Viewer program stores indexes in a .sai format under the same directory as the originating alignment file. If the program cannot store the index in that directory, it will place the .sai file in the main IGV directory. This kind of .sai file usually accompanies a SAM or BAM file, and won't work without one.

Encrypted Video

  • Integrated Sensors, a small company that produces radiation detection panel sensors, uses the .SAI extension for their encrypted video files. Few users will encounter this special proprietary file, which works only with the company's hardware.

Mainframe Data

  • The PDP-10, a late 1960s model mainframe computer, used the .sai file extension for some of its data files. This computer was manufactured by the Digital Equipment Corporation, or DEC, until 1983, when it was phased out in favor of VAX supermini mainframes. Mainframe .sai files are extremely rare and exist mostly as historical curiosities.

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