File Extension Search

.hdf File Extension

Developer: N/A
File type: Hierarchical Data Format File
You're here because you have a file that has a file extension ending in .hdf. Files with the file extension .hdf can only be launched by certain applications. It's possible that .hdf files are data files rather than documents or media, which means they're not meant to be viewed at all.

what is a .hdf file?

HDF files are Hierarchical Data Format Files by which they are the standardized file format for scientific data storage. These files are categorized as data files used mainly in non-destructive testing, aerospace applications, environmental science and neutron scattering. HDF files can be manipulated, viewed, analyzed, visualized as well as converted into scientific data with the use of HDF tools. Files with the HDF extension allow users to point out dependencies as well as complicated data relations and they are also very flexible and powerful formats. HDF files use two common versions and these are the HDF4 and HDF5 by which each version has software libraries containing the functions used to analyze and manipulate HDF file data. There are actually a lot of programs that can open HDF files and one of these applications is the GDAL or The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. This application is used mainly for raster geospatial data formats.

how to open a .hdf file?

Launch a .hdf file, or any other file on your PC, by double-clicking it. If your file associations are set up correctly, the application that's meant to open your .hdf file will open it. It's possible you may need to download or purchase the correct application. It's also possible that you have the correct application on your PC, but .hdf files aren't yet associated with it. In this case, when you try to open a .hdf file, you can tell Windows which application is the correct one for that file. From then on, opening a  .hdf file will open the correct application. Click here to fix .hdf file association errors

applications that open a .hdf file



The HDFView is a Java-based tool for browsing and modifying NCSA HDF4 and HDF5 files. It enables the users to browse through any HDF4 and HDF5 file; starting with a tree view of all top-level objects in an HDF file's hierarchy. It allows a user to move down through the hierarchy and steer among the file's data objects. The content of a data object is loaded only when the object is selected, giving interactive and efficient access to HDF4 and HDF5 files. Its editing features permit a user to make, delete, and edit the value of HDF objects and attributes. The HDFView user interface is designed to be easy to use and intuitive. HDFView was implemented by using Java 2 Platform that is intended to be machine-independent. The interface and features of the HDFView are unified for all platforms. It shows the structure of the HDF file in a tree with data groups and data objects represented as conventional folders and icons. Users can easily enlarge or collapse folders to navigate the hierarchical structure of an HDF file.


GDAL [Geospatial Data Abstraction Library] is a translator library for geospatial raster data files distributed under X/MIT as a free software by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. It utilizes single abstract data model for all formats. It has command line utilities for data processing and translation. It was originally developed by Frank Warmerdam until it was officially turned over to the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. The OGR library is also part of GDAL source tree. GDAL/OGR has become a freeware because of its extensive data exchange capabilities and due to its widespread comprehensive functions. It provides support for more than 120 geospatial raster formats.
FWTools Suite

FWTools Suite

FWTools is a suite of free GIS binary kit for Linux and Windows. The kits are intended for easy installation by end users. FWTools includes GDAL, MapServer, OpenEV, OGDI and PROJ.4 with some supporting elements. FWTools also aims to keep track of the development versions of packages included in the program rather than the official release versions. This will allow the developer, FW, the means to create bug solutions for a wider audience than would be covered and provided from the source. FWTools also supports JPEG2000, ECW, HDF and other formats requiring extra libraries. FWTools for Linux are designed to be agnostic to packaging and distribution system, making it compatible with any Linux system released in the last few years. Its subpackages are MapServer [a device for Web mapping], PROJ.4 [cartographic projections library provided with command line utilities], GDAL/OGR [a set and library of reading and writing command utilities of geospatial vector (OGR) and raster (GDAL) formats], OpenEV [analysis tool and data viewer for raster/vector desktop], OGDI [multi-format vector and raster reading technology that supports military formats like RPF [CIB, CADRG], VPF [VITD, VMAP] and ADRG and Python scripting language.

a word of warning

Be careful not to rename the extension on .hdf files, or any other files. This will not change the file type. Only special conversion software can change a file from one file type to another.

what is a file extension?

A file extension is the set of three or four characters at the end of a filename; in this case, .hdf. File extensions tell you what type of file it is, and tell Windows what programs can open it. Windows often associates a default program to each file extension, so that when you double-click the file, the program launches automatically. When that program is no longer on your PC, you can sometimes get an error when you try to open the associated file.

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