Open file, or obtain information about open files
fileID = fopen( opens
filename, for binary read access, and
returns an integer file identifier equal to or greater than 3. MATLAB® reserves
standard input, standard output (the screen), and standard error,
fopen cannot open the file, then
fileID = fopen( opens
the file with the type of access specified by
fileID = fopen( additionally
specifies the order for reading or writing bytes or bits in the file
machinefmt argument. The optional
specifies the character encoding scheme associated with the file.
[fileID,errmsg] = fopen(___) additionally
returns a system-dependent error message if
to open the file. Otherwise,
errmsg is an empty
character vector. You can use this syntax with any of the input arguments
of the previous syntaxes.
fIDs = fopen('all') returns a row vector
containing the file identifiers of all open files. The identifiers
reserved for standard input, output, and error are not included. The
number of elements in the vector is equal to the number of open files.
filename = fopen( returns
the file name that a previous call to
when it opened the file specified by
output filename is resolved to the full path. The
does not read information from the file to determine the output value.
[filename,permission,machinefmt,encodingOut] = fopen( additionally
returns the permission, machine format, and encoding that a previous
fopen used when it opened the specified
file. If the file was opened in binary mode,
is a standard encoding scheme name.
not read information from the file to determine these output values.
fileID returns empty character vectors
for all output arguments.
Open File and Pass Identifier to File I/O Function
Open a file and pass the file identifier to
fgetl function to read data.
Open the file,
tsunamis.txt, and obtain the file
fileID = fopen('tsunamis.txt');
fileID to the
fgetl function to
read one line from the file.
tline = fgetl(fileID)
tline = 'A global tsunami data set in xlsx format, comprising the following file:'
Close the file.
Request Name of File to Open
Create a prompt to request the name of a file to open.
fopen cannot open the file, display the relevant
fileID = -1; errmsg = ''; while fileID < 0 disp(errmsg); filename = input('Open file: ', 's'); [fileID,errmsg] = fopen(filename); end
Open File for Writing and Specify Access Type, Writing Order, Character Encoding
Open a file to write to a file using the Shift-JIS character encoding.
fileID = fopen('japanese_out.txt','w','n','Shift_JIS');
'w' input specifies write access, the
specifies native byte ordering, and
the character encoding scheme.
Get Information About Open Files
Suppose you previously opened a file using
fileID = fopen('tsunamis.txt');
Get the file identifiers of all open files.
fIDs = fopen('all')
fIDs = 3
Get the file name and character encoding for the open
~ in place of output arguments you want
[filename,~,~,encoding] = fopen(fileID)
filename = 'matlabroot\toolbox\matlab\demos\tsunamis.txt' encoding = 'windows-1252'
The output shown here is representative. Your results might differ.
filename — Name of file to open
character vector or string scalar
Name of file to open, specified as a character vector or string scalar that includes the file extension.
On UNIX® systems, if
filename begins with
fopen function expands the path to the current or
specified user's home directory, respectively.
Depending on the location of your file,
filename can take on
one of these forms.
|Current folder or folder on the MATLAB path|
Specify the name of the file in
If you open a file with read access and the file is not in the
current folder, then
If you open a file with
write or append access and the file is not in the current folder,
If the file is not in the current folder or in a folder on
the MATLAB path, then specify the full or relative path name in
If the file is stored at a remote location, then
Based on your remote location,
If you are using a cloud file system, set environment variables to communicate with the remote file system. For more information, see Work with Remote Data.
Files in a Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) volume cannot be opened in read-write mode.
permission — File access type
'r' (default) |
'W' | ...
File access type, specified as a character vector or a string scalar. You can open a file in binary mode or in text mode. On UNIX systems, both translation modes have the same effect. To open a file in binary mode, specify one of the following.
Open file for reading.
Open or create new file for writing. Discard existing contents, if any.
Open or create new file for writing. Append data to the end of the file.
Open file for reading and writing.
Open or create new file for reading and writing. Discard existing contents, if any.
Open or create new file for reading and writing. Append data to the end of the file.
Open file for appending without automatic flushing of the current output buffer.
Open file for writing without automatic flushing of the current output buffer.
To open files in text mode, attach the letter
permission argument, such as
On Windows® systems, in text mode:
Read operations that encounter a carriage return followed by a newline character (
'\r\n') remove the carriage return from the input.
Write operations insert a carriage return before any newline character in the output.
Open or create a new file in text mode if you want to write
to it in MATLAB and then open it in Microsoft® Notepad, or
any text editor that does not recognize
a newline sequence. When writing to the file, end each line with
For an example, see
Otherwise, open files in binary mode for better performance.
To read and write to the same file:
Open the file with a value for
permissionthat includes a plus sign,
frewindbetween read and write operations. For example, do not call
fread, unless you call
machinefmt — Order for reading or writing bytes or bits
'n' (default) |
'a' | ...
Order for reading or writing bytes or bits in the file, specified as one of the following character vectors or string scalars.
Your system byte ordering (default)
Big-endian ordering, 64-bit long data type
Little-endian ordering, 64-bit long data type
By default, all currently supported platforms use little-endian ordering for new files. Existing binary files can use either big-endian or little-endian ordering.
encodingIn — Character encoding
'windows-1252' | ...
Character encoding to use for subsequent read and write operations, including
fwrite, specified as a
character vector or a string scalar. The character vector or string scalar must
contain a standard character encoding scheme name such as the following.
If you do not specify an encoding scheme when opening a file for reading,
fopen uses auto character-set detection to determine the
encoding. If you do not specify an encoding scheme when opening a file for
fopen defaults to using UTF-8 in order to provide
interoperability between all platforms and locales without data loss or
corruption. For more information, see Import Text Data Files with Low-Level I/O.
If you specify a value for encoding that is not in the list of supported values, MATLAB issues a warning. Specifying other encoding names sometimes (but not always) produces correct results.
fileID — File identifier of an open file
File identifier of an open file, specified as an integer.
In most cases, it is not necessary to open a file in text mode. MATLAB import functions, all UNIX applications, and Microsoft Word and WordPad recognize
'\n'as a newline indicator.
C/C++ Code Generation
Generate C and C++ code using MATLAB® Coder™.
Usage notes and limitations:
Code generation does not support:
The input arguments
The output argument
Opening a file in text mode. That is the
permissionargument must not contain the letter
t. For example, the value cannot be
permissionargument can contain three characters at most. The characters must be unique.
If you disable extrinsic calls, then you cannot return file identifiers created with
fopento MATLAB functions or extrinsic functions. Use these file identifiers only internally.
When generating C/C++ executables, static libraries, or dynamic libraries, you can open up to 20 files.
The generated code does not report errors from invalid file identifiers. Write your own file open error handling in your MATLAB code. Test whether
-1, which indicates that the file open failed. For example:
... fid = fopen(filename, 'r'); if fid == -1 % fopen failed else % fopen successful, okay to call fread A = fread(fid); ...
The behavior of the generated code for
freadis compiler-dependent when you:
Open a file using
Read the file using
freadbefore calling an I/O function, such as
frewind, that sets the file position indicator.
Run code in the background using MATLAB®
backgroundPool or accelerate code with Parallel Computing Toolbox™
Usage notes and limitations:
fopen('all')syntax is not supported in thread-based environments.
Version HistoryIntroduced before R2006a
R2022b: Use function in thread-based environments
This function supports thread-based environments.