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TDDD34 Programming with Applications in Engineering

Commands in Matlab

Working in Matlab is not just press and go. You will need to perform certain amounts of "administration" to get going. This is a list of the most used commands to for example get help or edit a file.

All commands below must be written in Matlabs command window. You will know what that is after you read the getting started and lab introduction pages.

Create a program file (start the file editor)

To start the file editor and at the same time say that you want to use the file "assignment.m" (in current directory) to store the file you can enter any of the following two commands:

	edit assignment
	edit assignment.m

(If you use the graphical matlab you will get the built-in editor, if you started with "matlab -nodesktop" (see getting started) you will get emacs when you issue the edit command.)

Execute a program file (*.m)

You can execute you program files by changing to the directory where it was created and entering the name of the program file. Assuming you want to run "assignment.m" created above, do:


Matlab programs must be named with a letter as the first character. You can not use a digit. Only use lower case when you name files.

Useful commands

The following commands are very useful for various tasks. The items within [brackets] are keyboard shortcuts, the rest is written (or part of) commands.

        [up/down arrow]	     Browse previous executed commands.

	foo [up/down arrow]  Browse previous executed commands
                             starting with "foo".

	clc		     Clears the command window.

	clf		     Clears the figure window.

	who		     Shows all used variables.

	whos		     Shows all used variables with more information.

	help fun	     Shows the instruction how the function
                             "fun" should be used. If you do not know
                             the exact name of the function to get help
                             on, try help on a related function and look
                             in the "see also" part of that help page.
                             Chances are it contain useful suggestions
                             to move forward.

	helpwin              Same as help, but in a separate window.

	...		     Continues a long expression on the next
                             line without trying to execute the first

	[ctrl + c]	     Cancel the execution of the current command.
	[ctrl + i]	     Indent hilighted code correct.
                             This is done to read the code easier. 

	edit filname	     Opens a file in Matlab:s editor. The file
                             will be created if it do not exist.

	ls, mkdir, cd	     Equal to the same terminal commands.

	dir		     The windows equivalence to "ls" above.

	pwd		     Print current working directory (the one
                             you last did cd to).

	delete               Removes a file.

        copyfile	     Copies a file.

        movefile	     Moves a file.
	type		     Show the content of a file.

	lookfor		     Search *.m files for keywords.

	which		     Shows the path to functions and files.

	save		     Saves variables from "workspace".

	load		     Loads saved variables.

	clear		     Removes variables from "workspace".

        !command             Executes equivalent terminal "command"
                             for example: !rm assignment.m

Page responsible: Erik Nilsson
Last updated: 2012-08-07