TMX Map Format

Version 1.1

The TMX (Tile Map XML) map format used by Tiled is a flexible way to describe a tile based map. It can describe maps with any tile size, any amount of layers, any number of tile sets and it allows custom properties to be set on most elements. Beside tile layers, it can also contain groups of objects that can be placed freely.

Note that there are many libraries and frameworks available that can work with TMX maps.

In this document we’ll go through each element found in this map format. The elements are mentioned in the headers and the list of attributes of the elements are listed right below, followed by a short explanation. Attributes or elements that are deprecated or unsupported by the current version of Tiled are formatted in italics.

Have a look at the changelog when you’re interested in what changed between Tiled versions.

A DTD-file (Document Type Definition) is served at http://mapeditor.org/dtd/1.0/map.dtd. This file is not up-to-date but might be useful for XML-namespacing anyway.

<map>

  • version: The TMX format version. Was “1.0” so far, and will be incremented to match minor Tiled releases.
  • tiledversion: The Tiled version used to save the file (since Tiled 1.0.1). May be a date (for snapshot builds).
  • orientation: Map orientation. Tiled supports “orthogonal”, “isometric”, “staggered” and “hexagonal” (since 0.11).
  • renderorder: The order in which tiles on tile layers are rendered. Valid values are right-down (the default), right-up, left-down and left-up. In all cases, the map is drawn row-by-row. (only supported for orthogonal maps at the moment)
  • width: The map width in tiles.
  • height: The map height in tiles.
  • tilewidth: The width of a tile.
  • tileheight: The height of a tile.
  • hexsidelength: Only for hexagonal maps. Determines the width or height (depending on the staggered axis) of the tile’s edge, in pixels.
  • staggeraxis: For staggered and hexagonal maps, determines which axis (“x” or “y”) is staggered. (since 0.11)
  • staggerindex: For staggered and hexagonal maps, determines whether the “even” or “odd” indexes along the staggered axis are shifted. (since 0.11)
  • backgroundcolor: The background color of the map. (optional, may include alpha value since 0.15 in the form #AARRGGBB)
  • nextobjectid: Stores the next available ID for new objects. This number is stored to prevent reuse of the same ID after objects have been removed. (since 0.11)

The tilewidth and tileheight properties determine the general grid size of the map. The individual tiles may have different sizes. Larger tiles will extend at the top and right (anchored to the bottom left).

A map contains three different kinds of layers. Tile layers were once the only type, and are simply called layer, object layers have the objectgroup tag and image layers use the imagelayer tag. The order in which these layers appear is the order in which the layers are rendered by Tiled.

Can contain: <properties>, <tileset>, <layer>, <objectgroup>, <imagelayer>, <group> (since 1.0), <templategroup> (since 1.1)

<tileset>

  • firstgid: The first global tile ID of this tileset (this global ID maps to the first tile in this tileset).
  • source: If this tileset is stored in an external TSX (Tile Set XML) file, this attribute refers to that file. That TSX file has the same structure as the <tileset> element described here. (There is the firstgid attribute missing and this source attribute is also not there. These two attributes are kept in the TMX map, since they are map specific.)
  • name: The name of this tileset.
  • tilewidth: The (maximum) width of the tiles in this tileset.
  • tileheight: The (maximum) height of the tiles in this tileset.
  • spacing: The spacing in pixels between the tiles in this tileset (applies to the tileset image).
  • margin: The margin around the tiles in this tileset (applies to the tileset image).
  • tilecount: The number of tiles in this tileset (since 0.13)
  • columns: The number of tile columns in the tileset. For image collection tilesets it is editable and is used when displaying the tileset. (since 0.15)

If there are multiple <tileset> elements, they are in ascending order of their firstgid attribute. The first tileset always has a firstgid value of 1. Since Tiled 0.15, image collection tilesets do not necessarily number their tiles consecutively since gaps can occur when removing tiles.

Can contain: <tileoffset>, <properties>, <image>, <terraintypes>, <tile>, <wangsets> (since 1.1)

<tileoffset>

  • x: Horizontal offset in pixels
  • y: Vertical offset in pixels (positive is down)

This element is used to specify an offset in pixels, to be applied when drawing a tile from the related tileset. When not present, no offset is applied.

<image>

  • format: Used for embedded images, in combination with a data child element. Valid values are file extensions like png, gif, jpg, bmp, etc.
  • id: Used by some versions of Tiled Java. Deprecated and unsupported by Tiled Qt.
  • source: The reference to the tileset image file (Tiled supports most common image formats).
  • trans: Defines a specific color that is treated as transparent (example value: “#FF00FF” for magenta). Up until Tiled 0.12, this value is written out without a # but this is planned to change.
  • width: The image width in pixels (optional, used for tile index correction when the image changes)
  • height: The image height in pixels (optional)

Note that it is not currently possible to use Tiled to create maps with embedded image data, even though the TMX format supports this. It is possible to create such maps using libtiled (Qt/C++) or tmxlib (Python).

Can contain: <data>

<terraintypes>

This element defines an array of terrain types, which can be referenced from the terrain attribute of the tile element.

Can contain: <terrain>

<terrain>

  • name: The name of the terrain type.
  • tile: The local tile-id of the tile that represents the terrain visually.

Can contain: <properties>

<tile>

  • id: The local tile ID within its tileset.
  • type: The type of the tile. Refers to an object type and is used by tile objects. (optional) (since 1.0)
  • terrain: Defines the terrain type of each corner of the tile, given as comma-separated indexes in the terrain types array in the order top-left, top-right, bottom-left, bottom-right. Leaving out a value means that corner has no terrain. (optional)
  • probability: A percentage indicating the probability that this tile is chosen when it competes with others while editing with the terrain tool. (optional)

Can contain: <properties>, <image> (since 0.9), <objectgroup>, <animation>

<animation>

Contains a list of animation frames.

Each tile can have exactly one animation associated with it. In the future, there could be support for multiple named animations on a tile.

Can contain: <frame>

<frame>
  • tileid: The local ID of a tile within the parent <tileset>.
  • duration: How long (in milliseconds) this frame should be displayed before advancing to the next frame.

<wangsets>

Contains the list of Wang sets defined for this tileset.

Can contain: <wangset>

<wangset>

Defines a list of corner colors and a list of edge colors, and any number of Wang tiles using these colors.

  • name: The name of the Wang set.
  • tile: The tile ID of the tile representing this Wang set.

Can contain: <wangcornercolor>, <wangedgecolor>, <wangtile>

<wangcornercolor>

A color that can be used to define the corner of a Wang tile.

  • name: The name of this color.
  • color: The color in #RRGGBB format (example: #c17d11).
  • tile: The tile ID of the tile representing this color.
  • probability: The relative probability that this color is chosen over others in case of multiple options.
<wangedgecolor>

A color that can be used to define the edge of a Wang tile.

  • name: The name of this color.
  • color: The color in #RRGGBB format (example: #c17d11).
  • tile: The tile ID of the tile representing this color.
  • probability: The relative probability that this color is chosen over others in case of multiple options.
<wangtile>

Defines a Wang tile, by referring to a tile in the tileset and associating it with a certain Wang ID.

  • tileid: The tile ID.
  • wangid: The Wang ID, which is a 32-bit unsigned integer stored in the format 0xCECECECE (where each C is a corner color and each E is an edge color, from right to left clockwise, starting with the top edge)

<layer>

All <tileset> tags shall occur before the first <layer> tag so that parsers may rely on having the tilesets before needing to resolve tiles.

  • name: The name of the layer.
  • x: The x coordinate of the layer in tiles. Defaults to 0 and can not be changed in Tiled.
  • y: The y coordinate of the layer in tiles. Defaults to 0 and can not be changed in Tiled.
  • width: The width of the layer in tiles. Always the same as the map width for fixed-size maps.
  • height: The height of the layer in tiles. Always the same as the map height for fixed-size maps.
  • opacity: The opacity of the layer as a value from 0 to 1. Defaults to 1.
  • visible: Whether the layer is shown (1) or hidden (0). Defaults to 1.
  • offsetx: Rendering offset for this layer in pixels. Defaults to 0. (since 0.14)
  • offsety: Rendering offset for this layer in pixels. Defaults to 0. (since 0.14)

Can contain: <properties>, <data>

<data>

  • encoding: The encoding used to encode the tile layer data. When used, it can be “base64” and “csv” at the moment.
  • compression: The compression used to compress the tile layer data. Tiled supports “gzip” and “zlib”.

When no encoding or compression is given, the tiles are stored as individual XML tile elements. Next to that, the easiest format to parse is the “csv” (comma separated values) format.

The base64-encoded and optionally compressed layer data is somewhat more complicated to parse. First you need to base64-decode it, then you may need to decompress it. Now you have an array of bytes, which should be interpreted as an array of unsigned 32-bit integers using little-endian byte ordering.

Whatever format you choose for your layer data, you will always end up with so called “global tile IDs” (gids). They are global, since they may refer to a tile from any of the tilesets used by the map. In order to find out from which tileset the tile is you need to find the tileset with the highest firstgid that is still lower or equal than the gid. The tilesets are always stored with increasing firstgids.

Can contain: <tile>, <chunk>

Tile flipping

The highest three bits of the gid store the flipped states. Bit 32 is used for storing whether the tile is horizontally flipped, bit 31 is used for the vertically flipped tiles and bit 30 indicates whether the tile is flipped (anti) diagonally, enabling tile rotation. These bits have to be read and cleared before you can find out which tileset a tile belongs to.

When rendering a tile, the order of operation matters. The diagonal flip (x/y axis swap) is done first, followed by the horizontal and vertical flips.

The following C++ pseudo-code should make it all clear:

// Bits on the far end of the 32-bit global tile ID are used for tile flags
const unsigned FLIPPED_HORIZONTALLY_FLAG = 0x80000000;
const unsigned FLIPPED_VERTICALLY_FLAG   = 0x40000000;
const unsigned FLIPPED_DIAGONALLY_FLAG   = 0x20000000;

...

// Extract the contents of the <data> element
string tile_data = ...

unsigned char *data = decompress(base64_decode(tile_data));
unsigned tile_index = 0;

// Here you should check that the data has the right size
// (map_width * map_height * 4)

for (int y = 0; y < map_height; ++y) {
  for (int x = 0; x < map_width; ++x) {
    unsigned global_tile_id = data[tile_index] |
                              data[tile_index + 1] << 8 |
                              data[tile_index + 2] << 16 |
                              data[tile_index + 3] << 24;
    tile_index += 4;

    // Read out the flags
    bool flipped_horizontally = (global_tile_id & FLIPPED_HORIZONTALLY_FLAG);
    bool flipped_vertically = (global_tile_id & FLIPPED_VERTICALLY_FLAG);
    bool flipped_diagonally = (global_tile_id & FLIPPED_DIAGONALLY_FLAG);

    // Clear the flags
    global_tile_id &= ~(FLIPPED_HORIZONTALLY_FLAG |
                        FLIPPED_VERTICALLY_FLAG |
                        FLIPPED_DIAGONALLY_FLAG);

    // Resolve the tile
    for (int i = tileset_count - 1; i >= 0; --i) {
      Tileset *tileset = tilesets[i];

      if (tileset->first_gid() <= global_tile_id) {
        tiles[y][x] = tileset->tileAt(global_tile_id - tileset->first_gid());
        break;
      }
    }
  }
}

(Since the above code was put together on this wiki page and can’t be directly tested, please make sure to report any errors you encounter when basing your parsing code on it, thanks.)

<chunk>

  • x: The x coordinate of the chunk in tiles.
  • y: The y coordinate of the chunk in tiles.
  • width: The width of the chunk in tiles.
  • height: The height of the chunk in tiles.

This is currently added only for infinite maps. The contents of a chunk element is same as that of the data element, except it stores the data of the area specified in the attributes.

Can contain: <tile>

<tile>

  • gid: The global tile ID (default: 0).

Not to be confused with the tile element inside a tileset, this element defines the value of a single tile on a tile layer. This is however the most inefficient way of storing the tile layer data, and should generally be avoided.

<objectgroup>

  • name: The name of the object group.
  • color: The color used to display the objects in this group.
  • x: The x coordinate of the object group in tiles. Defaults to 0 and can no longer be changed in Tiled.
  • y: The y coordinate of the object group in tiles. Defaults to 0 and can no longer be changed in Tiled.
  • width: The width of the object group in tiles. Meaningless.
  • height: The height of the object group in tiles. Meaningless.
  • opacity: The opacity of the layer as a value from 0 to 1. Defaults to 1.
  • visible: Whether the layer is shown (1) or hidden (0). Defaults to 1.
  • offsetx: Rendering offset for this object group in pixels. Defaults to 0. (since 0.14)
  • offsety: Rendering offset for this object group in pixels. Defaults to 0. (since 0.14)
  • draworder: Whether the objects are drawn according to the order of appearance (“index”) or sorted by their y-coordinate (“topdown”). Defaults to “topdown”.

The object group is in fact a map layer, and is hence called “object layer” in Tiled.

Can contain: <properties>, <object>

<object>

  • id: Unique ID of the object. Each object that is placed on a map gets a unique id. Even if an object was deleted, no object gets the same ID. Can not be changed in Tiled. (since Tiled 0.11)
  • name: The name of the object. An arbitrary string.
  • type: The type of the object. An arbitrary string.
  • x: The x coordinate of the object in pixels.
  • y: The y coordinate of the object in pixels.
  • width: The width of the object in pixels (defaults to 0).
  • height: The height of the object in pixels (defaults to 0).
  • rotation: The rotation of the object in degrees clockwise (defaults to 0).
  • gid: A reference to a tile (optional).
  • visible: Whether the object is shown (1) or hidden (0). Defaults to 1.
  • tid: A reference to a template (optional).

While tile layers are very suitable for anything repetitive aligned to the tile grid, sometimes you want to annotate your map with other information, not necessarily aligned to the grid. Hence the objects have their coordinates and size in pixels, but you can still easily align that to the grid when you want to.

You generally use objects to add custom information to your tile map, such as spawn points, warps, exits, etc.

When the object has a gid set, then it is represented by the image of the tile with that global ID. The image alignment currently depends on the map orientation. In orthogonal orientation it’s aligned to the bottom-left while in isometric it’s aligned to the bottom-center.

When the object has a tid set, it will borrow all the properties from the specified template, properties saved with the object will have higher priority, i.e. they will override the template properties.

Can contain: <properties>, <ellipse> (since 0.9), <polygon>, <polyline>, <text> (since 1.0), image

<ellipse>

Used to mark an object as an ellipse. The existing x, y, width and height attributes are used to determine the size of the ellipse.

<point>

Used to mark an object as a point. The existing x and y attributes are used to determine the position of the point.

<polygon>

  • points: A list of x,y coordinates in pixels.

Each polygon object is made up of a space-delimited list of x,y coordinates. The origin for these coordinates is the location of the parent object. By default, the first point is created as 0,0 denoting that the point will originate exactly where the object is placed.

<polyline>

  • points: A list of x,y coordinates in pixels.

A polyline follows the same placement definition as a polygon object.

<text>

  • fontfamily: The font family used (default: “sans-serif”)
  • pixelsize: The size of the font in pixels (not using points, because other sizes in the TMX format are also using pixels) (default: 16)
  • wrap: Whether word wrapping is enabled (1) or disabled (0). Defaults to 0.
  • color: Color of the text in #AARRGGBB or #RRGGBB format (default: #000000)
  • bold: Whether the font is bold (1) or not (0). Defaults to 0.
  • italic: Whether the font is italic (1) or not (0). Defaults to 0.
  • underline: Whether a line should be drawn below the text (1) or not (0). Defaults to 0.
  • strikeout: Whether a line should be drawn through the text (1) or not (0). Defaults to 0.
  • kerning: Whether kerning should be used while rendering the text (1) or not (0). Default to 1.
  • halign: Horizontal alignment of the text within the object (left (default), center or right)
  • valign: Vertical alignment of the text within the object (top (default), center or bottom)

Used to mark an object as a text object. Contains the actual text as character data.

<imagelayer>

  • name: The name of the image layer.
  • offsetx: Rendering offset of the image layer in pixels. Defaults to 0. (since 0.15)
  • offsety: Rendering offset of the image layer in pixels. Defaults to 0. (since 0.15)
  • x: The x position of the image layer in pixels. (deprecated since 0.15)
  • y: The y position of the image layer in pixels. (deprecated since 0.15)
  • opacity: The opacity of the layer as a value from 0 to 1. Defaults to 1.
  • visible: Whether the layer is shown (1) or hidden (0). Defaults to 1.

A layer consisting of a single image.

Can contain: <properties>, <image>

<group>

  • name: The name of the group layer.
  • offsetx: Rendering offset of the group layer in pixels. Defaults to 0.
  • offsety: Rendering offset of the group layer in pixels. Defaults to 0.
  • opacity: The opacity of the layer as a value from 0 to 1. Defaults to 1.
  • visible: Whether the layer is shown (1) or hidden (0). Defaults to 1.

A group layer, used to organize the layers of the map in a hierarchy. Its attributes offsetx, offsety, opacity and visible recursively affect child layers.

Can contain: <properties>, <layer>, <objectgroup>, <imagelayer>, <group>

<properties>

Can contain: <property>

Wraps any number of custom properties. Can be used as a child of the map, tileset, tile (when part of a tileset), terrain, layer, objectgroup, object, imagelayer and group elements.

<property>

  • name: The name of the property.
  • type: The type of the property. Can be string (default), int, float, bool, color or file (since 0.16, with color and file added in 0.17).
  • value: The value of the property.

Boolean properties have a value of either “true” or “false”.

Color properties are stored in the format #AARRGGBB.

File properties are stored as paths relative from the location of the map file.

When a string property contains newlines, the current version of Tiled will write out the value as characters contained inside the property element rather than as the value attribute. It is possible that a future version of the TMX format will switch to always saving property values inside the element rather than as an attribute.

<templategroup>

Unlike tilesets, embedding a template group inside a map is not supported, so the map must reference the external template group.

Usage Inside the Map

<templategroup firsttid="1" source="platforms.tgx"/>
  • firsttid: the first ID of this template group (this ID maps to the first template in this templategroup).
  • source: The reference to the template group.

Objects inside the map can be template instances by referring to a specific template inside a template group:

<object id="1363" tid="14" x="20" y="55"/>

The Template Group Format

  • name: The name of the template group.
  • nexttemplateid: Stores the next available ID for new templates. This number is stored to prevent reuse of the same ID after templates have been removed.

Template groups are saved as external files, and are referenced by the map. A template group can contain multiple tileset elements that point to external tilesets.

Can contain: <tileset>, <template>

<template>

  • name: The name of the template.
  • id: Unique ID for the template inside the template group.

Each template element contains the saved map object.

Example of a template group file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<templategroup name="Plants" nexttemplateid="2">
 <tileset firstgid="1" source="desert.tsx"/>
 <template name="cactus" id="0">
  <object gid="31" width="81" height="101"/>
 </template>
 <template name="tree" id="1">
  <object gid="38" width="128" height="96"/>
 </template>
</templategroup>

Can contain: <object>


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License

The TMX Map Format by http://www.mapeditor.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.