NetCDF Software Tools

Overview | Tools | Data

There are many resources for accessing netCDF files. The following is a list of software tools and programs for working with netCDF files divided into two groups: command line interfaces and GUI interfaces. The list is not exhaustive but is a good first start in finding the tools you need. The first tool listed is from Unidata, the creators of the netCDF format; after that, all other tools are listed in no particular order.

Command Line Interfaces


Ncdump is the netCDF file reader that is bundled with Unidata's netCDF product. To obtain it, visit the UCAR Unidata Web site.

NetCDF Operators (NCO)

The NCO are a suite of programs known as operators in which each operator is a standalone, command line program which is executed at the UNIX command prompt. To learn more and to download the operators, visit the NCO Hompage.

GUI Interfaces


Ncview is a netCDF visual browser that allows the user to visually inspect NetCDF data files. To download ncview, visit David Pierce's Ncview Web page.

IDL NetCDF Reader

For users who are familiar with IDL, David Fanning has created a netCDF browser in IDL: To download this procedure, visit the NCDF Browser section of David Fanning's Web site.


Panoply is a JAVA application developed by NASA for viewing netCDF files. For more information and to download a copy, visit NASA's Panoply netCDF Viewer Web page.


NcBrowse is a Java application that offers flexible, interactive graphical displays of data and its attributes from a wide range of netCDF data file conventions. For more information and to download a copy, visit NcBrowse: A Graphical NetCDF File Browser Web site