image thumbnail


version (42.3 KB) by AJ Johnson
A tool for mapping binary data to MATLAB structures and vice versa.


Updated 23 Jun 2004

No License

cstruct maps bytes (i.e. binary data) to MATLAB structures and vice versa. It is very useful for unpacking binary data from a disk file, or preparing MATLAB data for sending over an interface.

The name 'cstruct' is derived from its original use of reading binary data from a socket interface whose format was based on a C structure. cstruct recasts the received bytes as a MATLAB data type (include simple types, and agregate types - structures and cells).

The mapping is based on a template. A MATLAB object is created that has the desired format/structure. cstruct analyzes the structure and can either extract the bytes from it, or pack bytes into the structure.

Various byte alignment and byte ordering options are supported.

Since I've written this, I've found it to be more useful that I thought, as I regularly deal with recorded data and binary data streams. It really helps bridge the gap between data created with C programs and MATLAB, without having to create specialty mex files, and without using the cumbersome fread function with data type specifiers.

I hope you'll find this useful.

I've provided the .DLL mex function for Microsoft Windows platforms, and the source code for compiling on other (including UNIX) platforms:
mex cstruct.c MatlabCStruct.c

Cite As

AJ Johnson (2021). cstruct (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R13
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Community Treasure Hunt

Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!

Start Hunting!