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Load MATLAB .mat 7.3 into Python native data types

Project description

Python package pypi Version

mat 7.3

Load MATLAB 7.3 .mat files into Python.

Starting with MATLAB 7.3, .mat files have been changed to store as custom hdf5 files. This means they cannot be loaded by any longer and raise.

NotImplementedError: Please use HDF reader for matlab v7.3 files


This library loads MATLAB 7.3 HDF5 files into a Python dictionary.

import mat73
data_dict = mat73.loadmat('data.mat')

As easy as that!

By enabling use_attrdict=True you can even access sub-entries of structs as attributes, just like in MATLAB:

data_dict = mat73.loadmat('data.mat', use_attrdict=True) 
struct = data_dict['structure'] # assuming a structure was saved in the .mat
struct[0].var1 == struct[0]['var1'] # it's the same!


To install, run:

pip install mat73

Alternatively for most recent version:

pip install git+


The following MATLAB datatypes can be loaded

logical np.bool_
single np.float32
double np.float64
int8/16/32/64 np.int8/16/32/64
uint8/16/32/64 np.uint8/16/32/64
complex np.complex128
char str
struct list of dicts
cell list of lists
canonical empty []
Other (ie Datetime, ...) Not supported


  • This library will only load mat 7.3 files. For older versions use
  • Proprietary MATLAB types (e.g datetime, duriation, etc) are not supported. If someone tells me how to convert them, I'll implement that
  • For now, you can't save anything back to the .mat. Let me know if you need this functionality, would be quick to implement.
  • See also hdf5storage, which can indeed be used for saving .mat, but has less features for loading

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