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HDF5 Tutorial: Tools for Viewing and Editing Files

The HDF Group provides a variety of tools for working with HDF5 files. This tutorial describes several of these tools. For a comprehensive list of available tools, see the HDF5 Tools page.

Basic Facts about HDF5

The following are basic facts about HDF5 files to keep in mind while completing these tutorial topics:

  1. All HDF5 files contain a root group "/".

  2. There are two primary objects in HDF5, a group and a dataset:
        Groups allow objects to be organized into a group structure, such as a tree.
        Datasets contain raw data values.

  3. Additional information about an HDF5 object may optionally be stored in attributes attached to the object.

Tutorial Topics

Tutorial Topic Description
HDFView Use HDFView to create, edit and view files.
Command-line Tools Use the HDF5 command-line tools for viewing, editing, and comparing HDF5 files.
Use Case - NPP JPSS Files Use HDF5 tools to examine and work with JPSS NPP files.


We welcome suggestions on how to improve the tutorials. Just let us know by filling out a Contact Form or sending a message to the HDF Helpdesk at:


- - Last modified: 21 December 2016