National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Our Products

Our Products

Data Download Support

Having problems viewing data? This page provides links to free versions of software required for our products.

Remember when opening the files your browser, depending on how it's been configured, will prompt to either open the file or save it.

Please note: You are advised to download and save your choice before opening it.

Zip files
Due to the size of our datasets we have to supply information via Zip files. You will also need a utility to open Zip files. Recent versions of Windows are able to unpack Zip files, but if you do not have one, you can download a free Zip package from the jZip website.

Portable Document Format (PDF) files
We provide a lot of supporting background information which is in PDF format. These files require Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website.

Microsoft products
Our Index and Lookup products are provided in either Excel or Access format, available from the Microsoft website.

Excel - Open, view, and print Excel workbooks, even if you don't have Excel installed.

Access - The Access Snapshot Viewer enables you to view a report snapshot without having the standard or run-time versions of Microsoft Access 97 through Access 2007

Spatial Boundaries
We provide the majority of our spatial data in Shapefile format.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software is typically required to open and view a shapefile. Developed by Esri, shapefiles can be directly read by a number of GIS software programs such as ArcGIS and QGIS.  

Free GIS software is available via the following websites
ArcGIS Explorer Desktop 

Alternatively there are websites that allow you to upload shapefiles and view them online instead of downloading software, such as Equator Studios Shapefile Viewer.  

We have also provided guidance on ‘converting Shapefiles to MapInfo’ to assist users who require MapInfo format.

Please contact our Geography Customer Services if you need any further information.
E-mail: [email protected]