Sequence of 8-bit characters.
Raw binary format.
  • Import can read any file as a sequence of characters.
  • Export writes a list of characters to a file.

Import and ExportImport and Export

  • Import["file", "Character8"] imports any file, returning a list of 8-bit characters.
  • Export["file", list, "Character8"] exports a list of characters to a binary file.
  • Export["file", expr, "Character8"] converts an expression to a string of characters and exports it to a binary file in which each byte represents a character.
  • Import["file", {"Character8", elem}] or Import["file", elem ] imports the specified element.
  • Import["file", {"Character8", {elem1, elem2, ...}}] imports multiple elements.
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Import and Export.
  • ImportString and ExportString support the Character8 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 8-bit characters
  • By default, Import and Export use the element.
  • Import["file", {"Character8", n}] gives the n^(th) byte.


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

ExamplesExamplesopen allclose all

Basic Examples (2)Basic Examples (2)

Convert a list of characters to a string representing an 8-bit character array:

Click for copyable input

Mathematica can also convert expressions of multicharacter strings to 8-bit characters:

Click for copyable input

Convert the previous result back to an expression:

Click for copyable input

Multibyte characters cannot be exported to the Character8 format:

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