TexturePacker's custom exporter format

Custom Exporters have saved me dozens of hours. I can't function without TexturePacker. Richard Jarell

TexturePacker comes with a lot of different data output formats - both generic like JSON and XML but also platform specific like Cocos2D, Sparrow and others.

Sometimes this is not enough - because a game framework needs its own format - or because it simply does not fit your needs.

The simple solution for you is to create your own custom format. It's easier than you may think, just read the instructions below.

Modifying an existing exporter

Many of the exporters are available in the TexturePacker folder:

  • Windows users look under C:/Program Files/CodeAndWeb/TexturePacker/resources/exporters
  • Mac users go to /Applications/TexturePacker.app/Contents/Resources/exporters

The plain exporter may be a good starting point. Make sure to duplicate the exporter folder to somewhere outside TexturePacker's installation path and rename the folder and the exporter contents as shown below!

Creating a new exporter from scratch

That's of course possible too... but modifying an existing exporter is the recommended way.

Preparations before creating your own exporter

First, create a directory - it's the Exporter Directory that will contain all your custom exporters - e.g. my-TP-Exporters .

Now create a new subdirectory inside that directory - name it like the exporter you want to create - e.g. testexporter .

Your folder structure should now look like this:

TexturePacker Documentation: Custom exporter - folder structure preparations for export

Set the path to your exporter directory my-TP-Exporters in TexturePacker's preferences and then quit TexturePacker.

TexturePacker Documentation: Custom exporter - Preferences

Structure of an exporter

An exporter consists of 2 or more files:

  • exporter.xml - the file describing the capabilities of the exporter

  • template.txt - the template for the output file format


  • filter.qs - one (or more) file(s) to extend the template file with JavaScript

The exporter description file

Create an exporter.xml inside your testexporter directory, or use an exporter.xml of an existing exporter as starting point

Here's an example file, containing descriptions for all supported elements:

<exporter version="1.0"> <!-- file format version, must be 1.0 -->

    <!-- Identifier for the exporter - should be unique.
         This value is stored when the exporter is referenced from a saved file (.tps).
         It is also used to select the exporter from command line.
         Change this if you've duplicated an existing exporter -->

    <!-- Old exporter identifiers (optional); if a tps file with such an id is opened,
         its id is automatically changed to the one specified in <name> -->

    <!-- Name of the exporter that is shown in the framework selector dialog -->
    <!-- Change this if you duplicated an existing exporter -->

    <!-- A description of the exporter -->
    <description>My first custom exporter for TexturePacker</description>

    <!-- Exporter version -->


        <!-- A list of data files which should be generated during the publish process -->

            <!-- name of this file type; used in the tps file
                 and by the commandline client: for each MYDATA file
                 a commandline option "- -MYDATA-file" is evaluated
                 (remark: write the option without the blank between the "-" signs,
                 it's required in the XML comment)  -->

            <!-- human-readable name (used in the TexturePacker GUI) -->

            <!-- file extension, without '.' -->

            <!-- description what the file contains,
                 used for tooltips in the GUI (optional) -->
            <description>My txt custom exporter for TexturePacker</description>

            <!-- name of the template file -->

            <!-- this file is optional, i.e. if the user does not specify an
                 output file name, the file will not be generated;
                 (optional, default is 'false') -->

            <!-- specifies for which scaling variant this data file is generated:
                 all:   for each variant  (default)
                 first: only for the first variant
                 last:  only for the last one   -->

            <!-- create a file for each multipack sheet
                 (optional, default is 'true') -->


        <!-- add more <file> ... </file> tags if you need more than one output file -->

    <!-- the following elements show/hide the corresponding input fields -->
    <!-- in the TexturePacker user interface -->

    <!-- mandatory flags: -->

    <!-- Set this to true if the target framework supports trimmed sprites (sprites with
         transparency removed). TexturePacker delivers the offsets and size of the
         trimmed sprite to the template system. The user can still choose to disable
         trimming from the user interface. If supportsTrimming is set to false the option
         to enable trimming is not available in the user interface. -->

    <!-- Set this to true if the target framework supports rotated sprites. The user can
         still decide not to enable rotated sprites from the user interface.
         If supportsRotation is set to false the option to enable sprite rotation is
         not available in the user interface. -->

    <!-- The direction in which a sprite is rotated - if TexturePacker decides
         to rotate a sprite:
             cw:  clockwise rotation
             ccw: counterclockwise rotation
         The amount of rotation is always 90°. Only required for supportsRotation=true -->

    <!-- If enabled TexturePacker allows the user to choose non-power-of-2 sizes for sprite
         sheets. Otherwise, only power-of-2 (POT) sizes are enabled in the user interface. -->

    <!-- the following flags are optional: -->

    <!-- framework supports tightly packed textures, i.e. it can extract sprites
         from a sheet using polygon paths instead of bounding boxes (default=false) -->

    <!-- target framework supports pivot point settings (default=false) -->

    <!-- target framework accepts sprite names without file name extension. (default=false) -->

    <!-- framework can read in border values for 9-patch scaling of sprites (default=false) -->

    <!-- enables the "Auto-detect animations" checkbox in the UI; the implementation of
         an animation detection must be done by the exporter (default=false) -->

    <!-- origin of the coordinate system of a sprite in the target framework,
         needed for pivot point placement. (default=TopLeft) -->
    <spriteOrigin>TopLeft</spriteOrigin> <!-- TopLeft or BottomLeft -->

    <!-- ensure that width/height of generated texture is multiple of this factor (default=1) -->

    <!-- ensures that the center offset caused by trimming has integral
         coordinates (default=false)-->

    <!-- You can specify default values for the following TexturePacker settings.
         They are used if a new project is created or if the data format of
         an existing project is changed and "Update to recommended values"
         is checked. The complete <defaults> block is optional. -->
        <trimMode>Polygon</trimMode>               <!-- None, Trim, Crop, CropKeepPos, Polygon -->
        <sizeConstraints>POT</sizeConstraints>     <!-- POT, WordAligned, AnySize -->
        <writePivotPoints>true</writePivotPoints>  <!-- true, false -->

    <!-- TexturePacker's "scaling variants" dialog provides a set of presets.
         These presets can be overwritten by exporter-specific ones.
         You can define them with an optional <variantPresets> block as shown here: -->
            <name>HD / SD</name>
                <filter></filter>    <!-- optional -->

    <!-- The following <properties> block shows how to define custom exporter properties.
         For each property TexturePacker displays an input field in the UI.
         The values entered there are stored in the TPS file and passed to the
         exporter when publishing. There they can be used in the template file. -->
            <!-- Property name, used in tps file + exporter template: -->
            <!-- Property type, supported values: string, bool -->
            <!-- Default value for new projects -->
            <!-- Name and tooltip text used for the input field in the UI: -->
            <displayName>Sprite prefix</displayName>
            <toolTip>Prefix for the sprite's name.</toolTip>
            <!-- Only displayed if advanced settings are expanded (small triangle
                 in front of Data settings) -->
        <!-- more <property>s can be defined here -->


The template file

The template file contains a prototype of the data file to write with some additional markup to format the text, build loops and decisions.

If you copied the data from the example file above, you should now create a testexporter.txt in the same directory as the exporter.xml. The file extension of the template file does not matter. However, it might be useful to give it the same extension as the Data file to enable syntax highlighting in your favorite text editor.

TexturePacker uses the Grantlee template engine - which is similar to Django templates. A basic description of the language is available from here: TexturePacker & PhysicsEditor Template Language.

This example template file will write a data file containing a list of sprites with frame coordinates, a flag for rotation and the source coordinates:

// Created with TexturePacker (https://www.codeandweb.com/texturepacker)
// Sprite sheet: {{ texture.fullName }} ({{ texture.size.width }} x {{ texture.size.height }})
// {{ smartUpdateKey }}

sprites = [
{% for sprite in allSprites %}
    {{ sprite.trimmedName }} = [
        frame = [
            {{ sprite.frameRect.x }},
            {{ sprite.frameRect.y }},
            {{ sprite.frameRect.width }},
            {{ sprite.frameRect.height }}
        rotated = {{ sprite.rotated }},
        source = [
            {{ sprite.cornerOffset.x }},
            {{ sprite.cornerOffset.y }},
            {{ sprite.untrimmedSize.width }},
            {{ sprite.untrimmedSize.height }}
    ] {% if not forloop.last %}, {% endif %}
{% endfor %}

Using values

Values are surrounded by {{ and }} , values inside a structure are separated by . .

Filters can be used to format values - e.g. {{x|floatformat:3}} formats the floating point value with 3 digits.

Control structures

if {% if condition %} ... {% else %} ... {% endif %} - conditional

execution of one branch in the file.

for {% for object in objectList %} ... {% endfor %} - loop over a list of


Values and data types

The variables that can be used in the template file are described in detail in the table below:

smartUpdateKeySTRINGhash string over all file dates, used to speed up export
dataAbsoluteFileNameSTRINGabsolute file name of the current data file
settingsSETTINGScontains tps file settings
variantIndexINT0 for hasSeparateAutoSDFiles=first
variantCount-1 for hasSeparateAutoSDFiles=last
[0..variantCount-1] for hasSeparateAutoSDFiles=all
multiPackIndexINT-1 for hasSeparateMultiPackFiles=false
[0..textureCount-1] for multipack textures
variantParamsVARIANTPARAMSsettings adapted for the current scaling variant
textureTEXTUREcurrent texture (only available if hasSeparateMultiPackFiles=true)
spritesSPRITE[]sprites (without aliases) of the current texture (or of complete result, if hasSeparateMultiPackFiles=false)
allSpritesSPRITE[]sprites (including aliases) of the current texture (or of complete result, if hasSeparateMultiPackFiles=false)
exporterProperties.MYPROPSTRING or BOOLContains the value of the custom exporter property MYPROP . Exporter properties can defined in the exporter description file, using the <property> element.
tpHASHContains all elements described above. If you want to write your exporter in Javascript you can use this hash to pass all settings to a Javascript function.

The template file is loaded with a set of parameters created during the packing process. The values can be referenced using the template language.


When publishing a spritesheet, TexturePacker checks if the Data file already exists. If the file is found, its contents are read, and a text sequence is searched for - $TexturePacker:SmartUpdate:....hashvalue....$. This value is a hash calculated from all file dates, sizes, and the parameters used to create the texture. If the calculated hash is identical to the current state of the files, no output is created, which speeds up batch operations.

To use this smart update feature, add smartUpdateKey somewhere in the template file. Ensure that the value is placed within a comment or another suitable location to avoid confusing the module reading the data.

sprites and allSprites

The sprites list contains unique sprites only, excluding alias sprites (sprites that contain the same image). To reference alias sprites, you can access a sprite's .aliasList property. On the other hand, allSprites contains a list of all sprites, including alias sprites. In most cases, using allSprites is more convenient than sprites.

The standard way to iterate over the sprites is using

{% for sprite in allSprites %}
{% endfor %}


This data type holds .tps file settings.

autoSDSettings[0..variantCount-1]AUTOSDSETTINGS[]Scaling variant settings
for more info see Dithering
textureFormatSTRINGtexture format
outputFormatSTRINGoutput format
contentProtection.keySTRING32 hex digits
tpsNameSTRINGname of the tps file
allowRotationBOOLrotation enabled
forceIdenticalLayoutBOOLforce layout to be identical for all variants
multiPackBOOLmultipack enabled
trimSpriteNamesBOOLtrim sprite names
autoAliasEnabledBOOLautomatic detection of duplicate sprites enabled
premultiplyAlphaBOOLpremultiply alpha enabled
reduceBorderArtifactsBOOLreduce border artifacts enabled
fixedTextureSizeSIZEhave a fixed texture size
dataFormatSTRINGdata format
textureSubPathSTRINGtexture sub path
borderPaddingINTborder padding
shapePaddingINTshape padding
commonDivisorXINTcommon divisor X
commonDivisorYINTcommon divisor Y
backgroundColorINTbackground color
writePivotPointsBOOLuser has enabled pivot points
autodetectAnimationsBOOLuser has activated animation detection


This data type holds AutoSD settings.

scaleFLOATscaling factor
extensionSTRINGvariant name
spriteFilterSTRINGsprite filter
acceptFractionalValuesBOOLaccept fractional values if no common factor can be found
maxTextureSizeSIZEmaximum texture size


Structure containing a packing result.

texturesTEXTURE[]array of all textures
nonFittingSpritesSTRING[]array containing names of non-fitting sprites


This data type holds a texture with all its parameters.

sizeSIZEThe width/height of the Texture file in pixels.
trimmedNameSTRINGThe name of the Texture file - without the extension.
fullNameSTRINGThe name of the Texture file with the extension.
absoluteFileNameSTRINGThe absolute path to the Texture file.
normalMapFileNameSTRINGThe path of the corresponding normal map sheet, relative to texture file.
normalMapAbsoluteFileNameSTRINGThe absolute path of the corresponding normal map sheet.
sprites[0..n]SPRITE[]The sprites on the current texture, without aliases.
allSprites[0..m]SPRITE[]All sprites on current texture, including aliases.
areaINTArea of the texture in pixels (i.e. width*height).


This data type holds a sprite with all its parameters.

fileDataFILEDATAsprite file data
sizeSIZEThe width/height of the sprite in pixels.
frameRectRECTframe rectangle, pixel coordinates
frameRectWithoutRotationRECTframe rectangle, pixel coordinates without rotation
frameRectRelRECTframe rectangle, relative uv coordinates (0..1)
sourceRectRECTsource rectangle
cornerOffsetPOINTcorner offset
untrimmedSizeSIZEuntrimmed size of sprite
trimmedBOOLtrue if sprite is trimmed
rotatedBOOLtrue if sprite is rotated
isSolidBOOLtrue if sprite has no transparent pixels
trimmedNameSTRINGThe name of the sprite file - without the extension.
fullNameSTRINGThe name of the sprite file with the extension.
nameSTRINGtrimmedName or fullName, depending on Trim sprite names flag.
aliasList[0..n]SPRITE[]contains the list of identical sprites
centerOffsetPOINTCenter offset
pivotPointPOINTx and y coordinates of the Pivot Point
pivotPointNormPOINTPivot point coordinates, relative to the sprite size
verticesPOINT[]Polygon points approximating the outline of the sprite. Sprite coordinate system.
verticesUVPOINT[]Polygon points approximating the outline of the sprite. Texture coordinate system.
triangleIndicesINT[]Triangulation of the sprite's polygon. The values in this list are indices in the vertices / verticesUV array.
scale9EnabledBOOLUser enabled 9-patch scaling for this sprite
scale9BordersRECTThe 9-patch borders.
scale9PaddingsRECTThe 9-patch paddings.
scaleFLOATThe sprite's scaling factor as set in Sprite settings. Does not take global/variant scale in account.


This data type holds a file.

absoluteFileNameSTRINGabsolute path of the file
fileSizeFLOATsize of the file
createdDATEcreation date of the file
lastModifiedDATElast modified date of the file


This data type holds the settings adapted for the current scaling variant.

scaleFLOATScaling factor
shapePaddingINTshape padding in pixels
borderPaddingINTborder padding in pixels
commonDivisorXINTCommon Divisor X
commonDivisorYINTCommon Divisor Y
extrudeINTExtrude in pixels
baseFactorINTCommon base factor of all scaling variants
maxTextureSizeSIZEMaximum texture size in pixels
fixedTextureSizeSIZEFixed texture size in pixels

RECT (Rectangle)

xINTx coordinate
yINTy coordinate
widthINTwidth in pixels
heightINTheight in pixels


xINTx coordinate
yINTy coordinate


widthINTwidth in pixels
heightINTheight in pixels

Enhancing the exporter with JavaScript

In some cases a pure template system is not enough - e.g. if you need to do some calculations. This can be achieved by enhancing the system with JavaScript.

For this, create 2 directories inside the exporter's folder: grantlee and grantlee/0.2 :

TexturePacker Documentation: Custom exporter - folder structure

In the 0.2 folder place your JavaScript file. The extension must be .qs .

Contents of the JavaScript file

Inside the file a filter can be registered. A filter is a function that receives a value, processes it, and returns it to the template which adds the value to the output file.

The following example registers a filter called makecssselector which takes a string, replaces all occurrences of -hover with :hover , and returns the result.

// the filter function
var MakeSelectorFilter = function(input)
    var input = input.rawString();
    return input.replace("-hover",":hover");

// the filter name
MakeSelectorFilter.filterName = "makecssselector";

// register the filter

It is important to convert the function parameter to a regular string if you want to use JavaScript functions like split , replace etc. You can do this by calling .rawString() on the parameter.

The function's result must be a string. If you want to use the function to calculate conditions you can return an empty string "" in case of false and a string with content "true". Use {% if variable|testfunction %} to test the condition from the template.

Loading and using the filter

Loading a filter is easy. Just add the following line to the template:

{% load makecssselector %}

The value must be the same as the file name.

Using the filter is done by appending the filter's name to a value:



Since a filter only takes a single parameter, some tricks can be used to perform calculations with multiple parameters:

Use one filter to set a global variable, use another to perform the calculation:

width = 1;

var SetWidth = function (input) {
    width = input; // store the value
    return ""; // return empty string
SetWidth.filterName = "setWidth";

var MakeRelX = function (input) {
    return String(input / width); // perform calculation, return result as string
MakeRelX.filterName = "makeRelX";

This is how you can use it:

{{texture.size.width|setWidth}} -- set the width
{{sprite.frameRect.x|makeRelX}} -- calculate x/width

Javascript-only exporters

If you prefer to write the complete exporter code in Javascript, you can use the following line of code to pass the entire TexturePacker configuration and results to a filter function:

{% load testexporter %}{{tp|exportData|safe}}

In the JavaScript file, you have the option to construct the data file content using string operations or, for example, use JSON.stringify() to serialize a JavaScript object as JSON. The following example demonstrates the latter approach:


var exportSprites = function(sprites)
    var result = {};
    for (var i = 0; i < sprites.length; i++)
        var s = sprites[i];
        var frame = [ s.frameRect.x, s.frameRect.y, s.frameRect.width, s.frameRect.height ];
        result[s.trimmedName] = frame;
    return result;

var exportTextures = function(root)
    var textures = root.allResults[root.variantIndex].textures;
    var result = {};
    for (var i = 0; i < textures.length; i++)
        var textureName = textures[i].fullName;
        var sprites = exportSprites(textures[i].allSprites)
        result[textureName] = sprites;
    return result;

var exportData = function(root)
    var doc = exportTextures(root);
    return JSON.stringify(doc, null, "\t");
exportData.filterName = "exportData";