I would like to open files from an old ArcView 3.x project with Quantum GIS to work with the data. But this project data is saved as an APR-file, which I can not open with Quantum GIS. Is there any possibility to convert the data (for example to QGS files) to work with it?

  • APR = ArcView 3 project. That is older than ArcGIS. Oct 4, 2012 at 13:43
  • 6
    The simple answer is no, but you can open .apr files in text file editor to find the datasources.
    – Mapperz
    Oct 4, 2012 at 13:55
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    To follow up on Mapperz' comment: the data sources are quoted in records beginning with "(FN.". They will match the regular expression /^{ws}*'(FN.'[0-9]+{ws}+'Path:'{ws}*["][^"]+["]{ws}*')'$/ where "{ws}" stands for whitespace, including possible line breaks, and the path name is contained between the double quotes. This makes it easy to point a short AWK or PERL script at the apr file to extract all references to data sources.
    – whuber
    Oct 4, 2012 at 14:56
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    Hi guys, why not write an answer ;)
    – underdark
    Oct 4, 2012 at 16:29
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    it does not answer the QGIS apr question- just the knowledge of the apr format might be helpful to the user.
    – Mapperz
    Oct 5, 2012 at 1:58

3 Answers 3


There isn't a direct way to open .apr files in QGIS - but there is an extension for ArcView 3.x which lets you export views from ArcView to QGIS project files:


I've not used it - and notice the last update is over 3 years ago - but hopefully even if it writes an older style of .qgs file it will still be compatible! The QGIS export is also listed as 'experimental', which doesn't look encouraging.


You can also try the free Tatukgis Viewer to open ArcView 3.x projects. Write down the shapefile names and open them in Qgis.


It is currently not possible to convert or open ArcView 3.x project files from inside QGIS.

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