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Common Data Format

CDF files

CDF was created by the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) to provide a self-describing data storage and manipulation format that matches the structure of scientific data and applications. MATLAB® high-level functions make it easy to read CDF files. Low-level functions provide direct access to routines in the CDF C API library. Use the low-level functions if you require more control over the import operation, such as data subsetting for large data sets, or to export data to a CDF file. To use the MATLAB CDF low-level functions effectively, you must be familiar with the CDF C interface.


cdfinfoInformation about Common Data Format (CDF) file
cdfreadRead data from Common Data Format (CDF) file
cdfepochConvert date text or serial date number to CDF formatted dates
todatenumConvert CDF epoch object to MATLAB serial date number


cdflibInteract directly with CDF library


Import CDF Files Using High-Level Functions

This example shows how to use high-level MATLAB® functions to import the sample CDF file, example.cdf.

Import CDF Files Using Low-Level Functions

This example shows how to use low-level functions to read data from a CDF file.

Represent CDF Time Values

This example shows how to extract date information from a CDF epoch object.

Export to CDF Files

This example shows how to export data to a CDF file using MATLAB® CDF low-level functions.

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