Why are there greyed-out formats in the format gallery?

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2015.x


When adding a reader or writer, you can view all available formats by clicking the ‘...’ button next to the format field. This opens the format gallery, which lists the formats FME can read or write to. Some of these formats may be greyed out. Hovering over the format will bring up a tooltip which gives the reason for the format being unavailable.


Generally, reasons fall into one of the following categories:

  • You must have the right licensing level for FME Desktop. For example, if you do not have an Oracle-level license, you will not be able to connect to Oracle databases, even with the correct client installed.
  • If the format has dependencies, the libraries must be installed. For example, to access a File Geodatabase using the Esri File Geodb, you must have ArcGIS installed on the same machine.
  • Even if the libraries are installed, they must be a version that is compatible with your version of FME Desktop. This means the libraries must match the FME installation in word size (32-bit or 64-bit) as well as being a version supported by FME. For more information about 64-bit vs 32-bit FME, please see Which version of FME Desktop should I install?


You may need to take the following steps, depending on the cause:

  • Contact sales@safe.com to discuss your options for upgrading to a higher licensing level
  • Install the libraries upon which the format is dependent, ensuring that they are for the correct architecture (32-bit vs. 64-bit)

Please note that if a format is not available on a specific platform at all, it will be missing from the list entirely. The full list of formats, and their compatible platforms and license levels, is available at safe.com/formats.

For more information about specific greyed-out formats, please see:

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