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HDF5 Files

Hierarchical Data Format, Version 5

Hierarchical Data Format, Version 5 (HDF5) is a data model, library, and file format for storing and managing data. You can interact with HDF5 files in several ways:

  • The Import Tool app (in MATLAB® Online™) and the Import Data Live Editor task provide intuitive graphical interfaces for exploring and reading data from HDF5 files.

  • The MATLAB high-level HDF5 functions provide a simplified programmatic interface for reading data from HDF5 files and writing data from the MATLAB workspace to HDF5 files.

  • The MATLAB low-level HDF5 functions provide finer control over the reading and writing process of HDF5 files by providing access to more than 300 functions in the HDF5 C library.

    To use the MATLAB low-level HDF5 functions, you must be familiar with HDF5 C API programming concepts, described at

MATLAB uses HDF5 C library version 1.10.11.

Live Editor Tasks

Import DataImport data from a file in the Live Editor (Since R2023a)


Import ToolImport data from file


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h5createCreate HDF5 dataset
h5dispDisplay contents of HDF5 file
h5infoInformation about HDF5 file
h5readRead data from HDF5 dataset
h5readattRead attribute from HDF5 file
h5writeWrite data to HDF5 dataset
h5writeattWrite attribute to HDF5 file
Library (H5)General-purpose functions for use with entire HDF5 library
Attribute (H5A)Metadata associated with datasets or groups
Dataset (H5D)Multidimensional arrays of data elements and supporting metadata
Dimension Scale (H5DS)Dimension scale associated with dataset dimensions
Error (H5E)Error handling
File (H5F)HDF5 file access
Group (H5G)Organization of objects in file
Identifier (H5I)HDF5 object identifiers
Link (H5L)Links in HDF5 file
MATLAB (H5ML)MATLAB utility functions not part of the HDF5 C library
Object (H5O)Objects in file
Property (H5P)Object property lists
Reference (H5R)HDF5 references
Dataspace (H5S)Dimensionality of dataset
Datatype (H5T)Datatype of elements in a dataset
Filters and Compression (H5Z)Inline data filters, data compression


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