open-discussion > Final CIFTI-2 file formats
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Mar 1, 2014  10:03 PM | David Van Essen
Final CIFTI-2 file formats
To the neuroimaging community:
The open discussion period on NITRC for the proposed CIFTI-2 data file formats is now closed. The CIFTI-2 data formats are hereby declared to be final, as specified in the attached document "CIFTI-2_Main_FINAL_1March2014.pdf".
The specific changes from CIFTI-1 are described in "CIFTI-2_Appendix_FINAL_1March2014.pdf" (in a separate NITRC posting because only one attachment is allowed).
Relative to the draft CIFTI-2 document presented to this discussion forum, the following changes were made:
1) The intent codes in the main document for Parcellated Connectivity Series and Parcellated Connectivity Scalar were fixed to match the appendix
2) The wording of the Version attribute of the CIFTI element was changed to include "1.0" which occurred in previous files, and clarified that unless the version is "2", the document does not apply.
3) Some rewording of Appendix B (changes from CIFTI-1)
Example CIFTI-2 data files that can be used for testing, plus surface and volume data that can be used for visualization, are in an archive ( that can be accessed from the CIFTI downloads section on NITRC (
Please note that a new release of Connectome Workbench that can read and write CIFTI-2 files will be released in the near future and will be accessible via
The HCP Software Development Team
Mar 2, 2014  05:03 AM | Tim Coalson
RE: Final CIFTI-2 file formats
In addition, we plan to provide C++ code for parsing/writing/manipulating the CIFTI-2 XML soon, also in the downloads section (  It will not include code for reading NIfTI-2 files, as our current code for doing so needs improvement to support the additional dimension allowed in CIFTI-2.  When those improvements are made, we may provide that code also.

When the XML handling code is available, we will make an announcement on this forum, and on the hcp-users mailing list at
Mar 7, 2014  10:03 PM | Tim Coalson
RE: Final CIFTI-2 file formats
The initial release of the CIFTI-2 XML parsing/manipulating/writing code is available on the NITRC download page,  It additionally supports CIFTI-1 XML, but note that supporting CIFTI-1 requires dealing with reversed dimensions in the NIfTI-2 header (CIFTI-2 does not have this problem).  It also does not include code for reading or writing NIfTI-2 files.

This code is released under the BSD 2-clause license.