Dr. Halo CUT

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File Format
Name Dr. Halo CUT
Extension(s) .cut
PRONOM x-fmt/316
Wikidata ID Q28205948
Released 1984
For other "CUT" formats, see CUT.

Dr. Halo CUT is a clipping format associated with the Dr. Halo line of raster image editing software for DOS. For more information about the software and its other formats, refer to Dr. Halo PIC.



CUT is a raster image format with 8 bits per pixel, compressed with run-length encoding.

To load a CUT file in Dr. Halo III (and presumably other versions):

  • Right-click the scissors icon. A dialog box will open.
  • Type the filename, or left-click the "?" icon to select it from a list.
  • Left-click the diskette icon with the arrow pointing up.
  • The dialog box will close. Move the mouse to choose where to paste the image. Left-click when ready.

Unlike PIC, CUT can be said to be "device independent", in that there's a universal way to decode the pixel values. Unfortunately, CUT does not contain information about what colors those values map to. Only bi-level or grayscale CUT files are reasonably portable. A CUT file could have a companion PAL file to supply color information, though this "CUT+PAL" format is not handled automatically by the Dr. Halo software.

Assuming a PAL file is not present or not supported, it seems that the usual practice is to interpret the image as grayscale, with black=0. But different viewers use different logic for guessing the code that should be interpreted as white.


There's no easy way to identify a CUT file, from its contents. The bytes at offset 4 and 5 should be 0x00, but that's not very helpful.

Checking that the width and height fields are sane could help screen out some files, but note that legitimate CUT files can be quite large. For one thing, up to 2400×3150 pixels is possible using the virtual page feature in Dr. Halo II (CGA modes).



Sample files


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