Main Content


Information about how variable handles sparse records


stype = cdflib.getVarSparseRecords(cdfId,varNum)


stype = cdflib.getVarSparseRecords(cdfId,varNum) returns information about how a variable in the Common Data Format (CDF) file handles sparse records.

Input Arguments


Identifier of a CDF file, returned by a call to cdflib.create or


Numeric value that identifies the variable. Variable numbers are zero-based.

Output Arguments


One of the following character vectors, or its numeric equivalent, that specifies how the variable handles sparse records.

'NO_SPARSERECORDS'No sparse records.
'PAD_SPARSERECORDS'For sparse records, the library uses the variable's pad value when reading values from a missing record.
'PREV_SPARSERECORDS'For sparse records, the library uses values from the previous existing record when reading values from a missing record. If there is no previous existing record, the library uses the variable's pad value.

To get the numeric equivalent of the constants specified by these character vectors, use cdflib.getConstantValue.


Open the example CDF, and then get the sparse record type of a variable in the file:

cdfId ="example.cdf");

stype = cdflib.getVarSparseRecords(cdfId,0)
stype =

% Clean up
clear cdfId


This function corresponds to the CDF library C API routine CDFgetzVarSparseRecords.

To use this function, you must be familiar with the CDF C interface. You can access the CDF documentation at the CDF website.