Background & Context

    • File system directory hierarchy.
    • Can contain files and subdirectories.


  • When importing from a directory that constitutes a supported multifile Import format, the converter for this format will be used.
  • Import["dir"] gives path specifications for all files in a general directory "dir" and its subdirectories.
  • Import["dir"] returns a list of pathnames as an expression of the form {"fn1","fn2", }.
  • Import["dir","fn"] imports "\"\!\(\*StyleBox[\"dir\", \"TI\"]\)\!\(\*StyleBox[\"/\", \"TI\"]\)\!\(\*StyleBox[\"fn\", \"TI\"]\)\!\(\*StyleBox[\"\\\"\", \"TI\"]\)".
  • Import["dir",elem] imports the specified element from a directory.
  • Import["dir",{elem,suba,subb,}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["dir",{{elem1,elem2,}}] imports multiple elements.
  • Because the Wolfram Language can determine whether a path specification refers to a directory, it is normally not necessary to specify "Directory" as a format in the second argument of Import.
  • Import["dir","Directory"] or Import["dir",{"Directory",elem,}] explicitly specifies "Directory" as the Import format.
  • See the following reference pages for full general information:
  • Importimport from a file
    CloudImportimport from a cloud object
    ImportStringimport from a string
    ImportByteArrayimport from a byte array

Import Elements

  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements" list of elements and options available in this file
    "Summary"summary of the file
    "Rules"list of rules for all available elements
  • The following can be used to select or specify individual files in a directory:
  • "FileNames"list of full pathnames for all files
    "filename"a single file
    "filename","format" a single file, taken to be in the specified format
    "filename","format",elemelement elem from the specified file
  • Import by default uses the "FileNames" element for directories.
  • Import["dir","fn"] imports "dir/fn".
  • File names can include relative or absolute directory specifications and the abbreviated string patterns supported by StringMatchQ.
  • Import["dir","*"] imports an entire directory.
  • Import["dir","subdir/*.jpg"] imports all JPEG files from "dir/subdir".


Basic Examples  (1)

Import and count the files included in the user documents directory:

Show the names of some example files included in the Wolfram System:

Import a file from a directory, specifying its name as an Import element: