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9.4.1 MSH file format version 1.0 (Legacy)
The MSH file format version 1.0 is Gmsh's old native mesh file format, now superseded by the format described in MSH ASCII file format. It is defined as follows:
$NOD numberofnodes nodenumber xcoord ycoord zcoord … $ENDNOD $ELM numberofelements elmnumber elmtype regphys regelem numberofnodes nodenumberlist … $ENDELM 
where

numberofnodes
is the number of nodes in the mesh.

nodenumber
is the number (index) of the nth node in the mesh; nodenumber must be a postive (nonzero) integer. Note that the nodenumbers do not necessarily have to form a dense nor an ordered sequence.

xcoord ycoord zcoord
are the floating point values giving the X, Y and Z coordinates of the nth node.

numberofelements
is the number of elements in the mesh.

elmnumber
is the number (index) of the nth element in the mesh; elmnumber must be a postive (nonzero) integer. Note that the elmnumbers do not necessarily have to form a dense nor an ordered sequence.

elmtype
defines the geometrical type of the nth element:

1
2node line.

2
3node triangle.

3
4node quadrangle.

4
4node tetrahedron.

5
8node hexahedron.

6
6node prism.

7
5node pyramid.

8
3node second order line (2 nodes associated with the vertices and 1 with the edge).

9
6node second order triangle (3 nodes associated with the vertices and 3 with the edges).

10
9node second order quadrangle (4 nodes associated with the vertices, 4 with the edges and 1 with the face).

11
10node second order tetrahedron (4 nodes associated with the vertices and 6 with the edges).

12
27node second order hexahedron (8 nodes associated with the vertices, 12 with the edges, 6 with the faces and 1 with the volume).

13
18node second order prism (6 nodes associated with the vertices, 9 with the edges and 3 with the quadrangular faces).

14
14node second order pyramid (5 nodes associated with the vertices, 8 with the edges and 1 with the quadrangular face).

15
1node point.

16
8node second order quadrangle (4 nodes associated with the vertices and 4 with the edges).

17
20node second order hexahedron (8 nodes associated with the vertices and 12 with the edges).

18
15node second order prism (6 nodes associated with the vertices and 9 with the edges).

19
13node second order pyramid (5 nodes associated with the vertices and 8 with the edges).
See below for the ordering of the nodes.


regphys
is the number of the physical entity to which the element belongs; regphys must be a postive integer, or zero. If regphys is equal to zero, the element is considered not to belong to any physical entity.

regelem
is the number of the elementary entity to which the element belongs; regelem must be a postive (nonzero) integer.

numberofnodes
is the number of nodes for the nth element. This is redundant, but kept for backward compatibility.

nodenumberlist
is the list of the numberofnodes node numbers of the nth element. The ordering of the nodes is given in Node ordering.
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