Pencil2D Project File Corruption Prevention / Partial Recovery Guide


(Jose Moreno) #1

If you’re just starting out with Pencil2D, the development team has been fixing a few bugs that have to do with saving and loading. Release version 0.6.2 and anove should minimize these issues download it here:

However, In the event that you find yourself running upon those rare issues, please consider the following to prevent losing and, in some specific scenarios, also recover your work:

  1. Always create backup copies of your work file BEFORE loading and AFTER saving a project successfully. his is so you can go back to a previous state if something happens. A feature to do this automatically has been proposed here but it will take time for it to be implemented.
  2. Issues when loading a file and workarounds:
    Problem: In 0.6.1, you could load a file without problem for the first time, but if you had a file already open and you wanted to load an existing file, the files would load but all the keyframes would appear blank.
    Workaround: You need to create a NEW FILE first, and then use either the “open” or “open recent” commands to successfully load an existing file.
    Note: This has been fixed for 0.6.2, but if this behavior occurs to you please try this workaround and report this issue on the #bugs forum.
  3. Issues when saving a file:
    Problem: Sometimes after saving a file users reported that their files would be corrupted and Pencil2D would not allow them to open the files again.
    Workaround: First of all we need to understand how to open and extract the contents of PCLX files in order to verify if your file was saved successfully. This method can also be used to partially recover your work if you’ve had your file corrupted.



  1. Make a copy of the current PCLX file you saved.
  2. Rename the copied file extension from .PCLX to .ZIP. Your OS will probably warn you about changing the filetype. Read the warning carefully and accept the change.
  3. Open the copied file with a ZIP file manager as shown below.

The process describe on the following video should work in any platform but this was made in a Windows 7 OS. You can use the Windows File Explorer or the WinZip, 7-Zip or even WinRAR file managers.

For MAC OS you can use the built in “Archive Utility” program. You could also use a software called Pea ZIP_

Scribblemaniac says: In fact you don’t even need to rename the file, you can just right click on the pclx file and then select Open With > Archive Utility and it will extract everything to a folder with the same name as the file.


  1. Check your Temporary file system to find Pencil2D files for the work session

a) In the Start Menu, go to System, or open the folder explorer
b) In the Folder Address Bar type the symbol-phrase %temp% This will take you to the “temporary files” folder
c) Search for a “Pencil2D” folder. Enter the Folder. Organize the files by “last modified”
d) Look for a folder with the name of your saved file + the Y2XD extension and a random alphanumeric string. e.g MyFileName_Y2xD_5yz4hsui

Note: If you lost your file due during the save procedure, saving your file for the first time due to a blackout, power surge, etc, look for a folder called “Default.Y2XD”
e) Inside the Y2xD folder, verify if there’s a “main.xml” file. If there is, there’s a good chance your file is still healthy.
f) After checking the main.xml file, browse to the data folder and verify if there is any file inside. Drawings are saved as numbered images. The name correspond to the naming convention layer.frame.png e.g 003.001.png would be Layer No.3 and Frame No. 1. Layers are counted bottom to top and the camera layer is always the first layer. If you used the bitmap layer to draw you’ll find PNG images, if you used the vector layer you’ll find .VEC files, which are read by Pencil2D only.

Note: So far Pencil2D does not have an import /export feature for .VEC vector files, but this has been proposed for implementation here


a) In the Finder Menu, under GO choose “Go to Folder” you can also use the shortcut: Shift + CMD + G.
b) In the Go To Folder dialog box enter: ~/Library/Caches.
c) Look for a Pencil2D folder. Enter the Folder. Organize the files by “last modified”
d) Look for a folder with the name of your saved file.
d2) If you hadn’t saved, look for a folder called “Default”
e) make a copy of this folder on your desktop or a preferred folder.

a.k.a different scenarios you can expect to use this and what to do afterwards

IF you are verifying that your file was succesfully preserved after saving and it wasn’t

A. DO NOT close your file or the Pencil2D software
B. Make a COPY of the TEMP folder. This way you’ll preserve the last state it had when it was loaded.
C. ZIP the temp folder contents (main.xml + data folder) and rename it from the .ZIP to the .PCLX extension. This will allow you to open your file properly at that point in time.

IF you saved already but closed the file or software, use the pclx to zip conversion to check if it has your data before loading the file again. If your save was corrupted use the recovery procedure or fall back to the copy you did at the beginning of the session.

IF you are attempting to recover a corrupted file

Make a copy of the data folder to import your saved drawings (images or vector) on a newly create a new file or import the salvaged drawings to combine them with a previous backup version.

Final Note: Depending on how much the save operation managed to run, most of the time there will be a percentage of images that will be lost, but this will allow you to get some of them back. Also if the main.xml file was lost, consider that the drawings will not be proeprly aligned since Pencil2D grabs the “RAW” image and then position it with coordinates found in the main.xml file.
It’s like an address book to find it’s way to put the stuff in a correct order. So if the file becomes damaged or lost, you’d have to re-position each individual image manually.

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(Jose Moreno) #2