Uniform sequence of bits.
Binary data format.
  • Import can read any file as a sequence of single bits.
  • Export writes a list of 0s and 1s to a binary file.

Import and ExportImport and Export

  • Import["file", "Bit"] imports an arbitrary file as a sequence of bits, returning a packed array of 0s and 1s.
  • Export["file", list, "Bit"] exports a list of 0s and 1s to a binary sequence of bits.
  • Import["file", {"Bit", elem}] or Import["file", elem ] imports the specified element from file.
  • Import["file", {"Bit", {elem1, elem2, ...}}] imports multiple elements.
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Import and Export.
  • ImportString and ExportString support the Bit format.


  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements" elements and options available in this file
    "Rules"full rules for each element and option
    "Options"rules for options, properties, and settings
  • Data representation element:
  • "Data"list of single bits (0 or 1)
  • By default, Import and Export use the element.
  • Import["file", {"Bit", n}] gives the n^(th) bit from file.
  • Export["file", list, "Bit"] pads list with zeros at the end if the number of bits to be exported is not a multiple of 8.


  • Import option:
  • "HeaderBytes"0how many bytes to skip at the beginning of the file

ExamplesExamplesopen allclose all

Basic Examples (1)Basic Examples (1)

Convert a text string to a list of bits:

Click for copyable input

Convert a list of 0s and 1s:

Click for copyable input

Export automatically pads with 0s if necessary:

Click for copyable input
New in 5.1 | Last modified in 6
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