SIXEL file extension - DEC LN03+ Sixel bitmap image file
What is sixel file? How to open sixel files?
File type specification:
The SIXEL file extension is associated with the DEC LN03 or LN03+ printer, that is used DEC ANSI/Sixel printer language.
DEC ANSI/Sixel uses ANSI (American National Standards Institute) escape codes for the positioning of text, selection of fonts etc. (many personal computers and computer terminals also use ANSI escape sequences for positioning text on the screen). As ANSI escape codes are primarily designed for the manipulation of text, an additional mechanism is required for graphics. Bitmap graphics are supported, but are encoded in a special format called Sixels designed to simplify communication via serial ports.
DEC ANSI/Sixel was initially used on dot matrix printers, but Digital's first desktop office laser printer, the DEC LN03, also used DEC ANSI/Sixel. As the LN03 is supported by a wide range of applications on DEC minicomputers, printer manufacturers who supply laser printers for use with DEC minicomputers often provide an emulation of the LN03 printer.
The LN03 was suitable for use with word-processing and data-processing applications, and when expanded with extra memory (called the LN03+) was suitable for simple graphics. More sophisticated applications on DEC minicomputers normally use PostScript.