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Return information about netCDF attribute


[xtype,attlen] = netcdf.inqAtt(ncid,varid,attname)


[xtype,attlen] = netcdf.inqAtt(ncid,varid,attname) returns the data type, xtype, and length, attlen, of the attribute identified in attname. Specify attname as a character vector or string scalar.

ncid is a netCDF file identifier returned by netcdf.create or

varid identifies the variable that the attribute is associated with. To get information about a global attribute, specify netcdf.getConstant('NC_GLOBAL') in place of varid.

This function corresponds to the nc_inq_att function in the netCDF library C API. To use this function, you should be familiar with the netCDF programming paradigm.


This example opens the example netCDF file included with MATLAB®,, and gets information about an attribute in the file.

% Open netCDF example file.
ncid ='','NOWRITE');

% Get identifier of a variable in the file, given its name.
varid = netcdf.inqVarID(ncid,'avagadros_number');

% Get attribute name, given variable id and attribute number.
attname = netcdf.inqAttName(ncid,varid,0);

% Get information about the attribute.
[xtype,attlen] = netcdf.inqAtt(ncid,varid,'description')

xtype =


attlen =


% Get name of global attribute
gattname = netcdf.inqAttName(ncid,netcdf.getConstant('NC_GLOBAL'),0);

% Get information about global attribute.
[gxtype gattlen] = netcdf.inqAtt(ncid,netcdf.getConstant('NC_GLOBAL'),gattname)

gxtype =


gattlen =