How to Open a PDS File
By Molly Cramer
Considering how many different types of computer files exist today, it is understandable that you may run across file extensions that you are unfamiliar with. To open these files, you must first establish what kind of file you have. The easiest way to do this is to try opening the file in one of the programs it is associated with. For a .pds file, there are only two possible options: It could be a project file from the PowerDirector video program, or it could be a "planetary data system" file used by NASA to store information about planetary missions.
Determine whether the .pds file is actually a .pds file and not incorrectly labeled. Occasionally, files on your computer may be given the wrong file name. This can occur if you download them and enter the wrong extension when saving, or when you install and uninstall programs. Running a registry cleaning program can help fix incorrect file extensions. A popular registry cleaner recommended by contributing editor Lincoln Spector at PC World is CCleaner. It can be downloaded for free at the official CCleaner website listed in the Resources below.
Download and install PowerDirector 8 from the official website located in the Resources below. It is highly recommended that you download the free trial unless you want to pay to own the full program. Once PowerDirector 8 is installed, open your .pds file from within the PowerDirector program. You may also right click on the .pds file and choose "Open With." From there, choose PowerDirector 8. You may have to click "Browse" to find the program. If your file does not open, proceed to the next step.
Download and install NASAVIEW from the official NASA PDS website located in the Resources below. Once NASAVIEW is installed, open your .pds file from within the NASAVIEW program. You may also right click on the .pds file and choose "Open With." From there, choose NASAVIEW. You may have to click "Browse" to find the right program.