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MATLAB Operators and Special Characters

This page contains a comprehensive listing of all MATLAB® operators, symbols, and special characters.

Arithmetic Operators

Relational Operators

SymbolRoleMore Information

Equal to

Not equal to

Greater than

Greater than or equal to

Less than

Less than or equal to

Logical Operators

Special Characters

Name: At symbol


  • Function handle construction and reference

  • Calling superclass methods

Description: The symbol forms a handle to either the named function that follows the sign, or to the anonymous function that follows the sign. You can also use to call superclass methods from subclasses.


Create a function handle to a named function:

Create a function handle to an anonymous function:

fhandle = @(x,y) x.^2 + y.^2;

Call the method of from a subclass:

Call the superclass constructor from a subclass using the object being constructed:

obj = [email protected](arg1,arg2,...)

More Information:

Name: Period or dot


  • Decimal point

  • Element-wise operations

  • Structure field access

  • Object property or method specifier

Description: The period character separates the integral and fractional parts of a number, such as . MATLAB operators that contain a period always work element-wise. The period character also enables you to access the fields in a structure, as well as the properties and methods of an object.


Decimal point:

Element-wise operations:

Structure field access:

Object property specifier:

More Information

Name: Dot dot dot or ellipsis

Uses: Line continuation

Description: Three or more periods at the end of a line continues the current command on the next line. If three or more periods occur before the end of a line, then MATLAB ignores the rest of the line and continues to the next line. This effectively makes a comment out of anything on the current line that follows the three periods.


MATLAB interprets the ellipsis as a space character. Therefore, multi-line commands must be valid as a single line with the ellipsis replaced by a space character.


Continue a function call on the next line:

sprintf(['The current value '...'of %s is %d'],vname,value)

Break a character vector up on multiple lines and concatenate the lines together:

S = ['If three or more periods occur before the '...'end of a line, then the rest of that line is '...'ignored and MATLAB continues to the next line']

To comment out one line in a multiline command, use at the beginning of the line to ensure that the command remains complete. If you use to comment out a line it produces an error:

y = 1 +... 2 +...% 3 +... 4;

However, this code runs properly since the third line does not produce a gap in the command:

y = 1 +... 2 +...... 3 +... 4;

More Information

Name: Comma

Uses: Separator

Description: Use commas to separate row elements in an array, array subscripts, function input and output arguments, and commands entered on the same line.


Separate row elements to create an array:

Separate subscripts:

Separate input and output arguments in function calls:

Separate multiple commands on the same line (showing output):

figure, plot(sin(-pi:0.1:pi)), grid on

More Information

Name: Colon


  • Vector creation

  • Indexing

  • For-loop iteration

Description: Use the colon operator to create regularly spaced vectors, index into arrays, and define the bounds of a loop.


Create a vector:

Create a vector that increments by 3:

Reshape a matrix into a column vector:

Assign new elements without changing the shape of an array:

A = rand(3,4); A(:) = 1:12;

Index a range of elements in a particular dimension:

Index all elements in a particular dimension:

loop bounds:

x = 1; for k = 1:25 x = x + x^2; end

More Information

Name: Semicolon


  • Signify end of row

  • Suppress output of code line

Description: Use semicolons to separate rows in an array creation command, or to suppress the output display of a line of code.


Separate rows to create an array:

Suppress code output:

Separate multiple commands on a single line (suppressing output):

A = 12.5; B = 42.7, C = 1.25; B = 42.7000

More Information

Name: Parentheses


  • Operator precedence

  • Function argument enclosure

  • Indexing

Description: Use parentheses to specify precedence of operations, enclose function input arguments, and index into an array.


Precedence of operations:

Function argument enclosure:

plot(X,Y,'r*') C = union(A,B)


More Information

Name: Square brackets


  • Array construction

  • Array concatenation

  • Empty matrix and array element deletion

  • Multiple output argument assignment

Description: Square brackets enable array construction and concatenation, creation of empty matrices, deletion of array elements, and capturing values returned by a function.


Construct a three-element vector:

Add a new bottom row to a matrix:

A = rand(3); A = [A; 10 20 30]

Create an empty matrix:

Delete a matrix column:

Capture three output arguments from a function:

More Information

Name: Curly brackets

Uses: Cell array assignment and contents

Description: Use curly braces to construct a cell array, or to access the contents of a particular cell in a cell array.


To construct a cell array, enclose all elements of the array in curly braces:

C = {[2.6 4.7 3.9], rand(8)*6, 'C. Coolidge'}

Index to a specific cell array element by enclosing all indices in curly braces:

More Information

Name: Percent


  • Comment

  • Conversion specifier

Description: The percent sign is most commonly used to indicate nonexecutable text within the body of a program. This text is normally used to include comments in your code.

Some functions also interpret the percent sign as a conversion specifier.

Two percent signs, , serve as a cell delimiter as described in Create and Run Sections in Code.


Add a comment to a block of code:

% The purpose of this loop is to compute% the value of ...

Use conversion specifier with :

sprintf('%s = %d', name, value)

More Information

Name: Percent curly bracket

Uses: Block comments

Description: The and symbols enclose a block of comments that extend beyond one line.


With the exception of whitespace characters, the and operators must appear alone on the lines that immediately precede and follow the block of help text. Do not include any other text on these lines.


Enclose any multiline comments with percent followed by an opening or closing brace:

%{ The purpose of this routine is to compute the value of ... %}

More Information

Name: Exclamation point

Uses: Operating system command

Description: The exclamation point precedes operating system commands that you want to execute from within MATLAB.

Not available in MATLAB Online™.


The exclamation point initiates a shell escape function. Such a function is to be performed directly by the operating system:

More Information

Name: Question mark

Uses: Metaclass for MATLAB class

Description: The question mark retrieves the object for a particular class name. The operator works only with a class name, not an object.


Retrieve the meta.class object for class :

More Information

Name: Single quotes

Uses: Character array constructor

Description: Use single quotes to create character vectors that have class .


Create a character vector:

More Information

Name: Double quotes

Uses: String constructor

Description: Use double quotes to create string scalars that have class .


Create a string scalar:

More Information

Name: Space character

Uses: Separator

Description: Use the space character to separate row elements in an array constructor, or the values returned by a function. In these contexts, the space character and comma are equivalent.


Separate row elements to create an array:

% These statements are equivalent A = [12 13; 14 15] A = [12,13; 14,15]

Separate output arguments in function calls:

% These statements are equivalent [Y I] = max(A) [Y,I] = max(A)

Name: Newline character

Uses: Separator

Description: Use the newline character to separate rows in an array construction statement. In that context, the newline character and semicolon are equivalent.


Separate rows in an array creation command:

% These statements are equivalent A = [12 13 14 15] A = [12 13; 14 15]

Name: Tilde


  • Logical NOT

  • Argument placeholder

Description: Use the tilde symbol to represent logical NOT or to suppress specific input or output arguments.


Calculate the logical NOT of a matrix:

Determine where the elements of are not equal to those of :

A = [1 -1; 0 1] B = [1 -2; 3 2] A~=B

Return only the third output value of :

More Information

Name: Equal sign

Uses: Assignment

Description: Use the equal sign to assign values to a variable. The syntax stores the elements of in variable .


The character is for assignment, whereas the character is for comparing the elements in two arrays. See for more information.


Create a matrix . Assign the values in to a new variable, . Lastly, assign a new value to the first element in .

A = [1 0; -1 0]; B = A; B(1) = 200;

Name: Left angle bracket and ampersand

Uses: Specify superclasses

Description: Specify one or more superclasses in a class definition


Define a class that derives from one superclass:

classdef MyClass < MySuperclass … end

Define a class that derives from multiple superclasses:

classdef MyClass < Superclass1 & Superclass2 & … … end

More Information:

Name: Dot question mark

Uses: Specify fields of name-value structure


When using function argument validation, you can define the fields of the name-value structure as the names of all writeable properties of the class.


Specify the field names of the structure as the writeable properties of the class.

function f(propArgs) arguments propArgs.? end% Function code...end

More Information:

String and Character Formatting

Some special characters can only be used in the text of a character vector or string. You can use these special characters to insert new lines or carriage returns, specify folder paths, and more.

Use the special characters in this table to specify a folder path using a character vector or string.

Name: Slash and Backslash

Uses: File or folder path separation

Description: In addition to their use as mathematical operators, the slash and backslash characters separate the elements of a path or folder. On Microsoft® Windows® based systems, both slash and backslash have the same effect. On The Open Group UNIX® based systems, you must use slash only.


On a Windows system, you can use either backslash or slash:

dir([matlabroot '\toolbox\matlab\elmat\shiftdim.m']) dir([matlabroot '/toolbox/matlab/elmat/shiftdim.m'])

On a UNIX system, use only the forward slash:

dir([matlabroot '/toolbox/matlab/elmat/shiftdim.m'])

Name: Dot dot

Uses: Parent folder

Description: Two dots in succession refers to the parent of the current folder. Use this character to specify folder paths relative to the current folder.


To go up two levels in the folder tree and down into the folder, use:

More Information

Name: Asterisk

Uses: Wildcard character

Description: In addition to being the symbol for matrix multiplication, the asterisk is used as a wildcard character.

Wildcards are generally used in file operations that act on multiple files or folders. MATLAB matches all characters in the name exactly except for the wildcard character , which can match any one or more characters.


Locate all files with names that start with and have a file extension:

Name: At symbol

Uses: Class folder indicator

Description: An sign indicates the name of a class folder.


Refer to a class folder:

More Information

Name: Plus

Uses: Package directory indicator

Description: A sign indicates the name of a package folder.


Package folders always begin with the character:

+mypack +mypack/pkfcn.m % a package function +mypack/@myClass % class folder in a package

More Information

There are certain special characters that you cannot enter as ordinary text. Instead, you must use unique character sequences to represent them. Use the symbols in this table to format strings and character vectors on their own or in conjunction with formatting functions like , , and . For more information, see Formatting Text.

SymbolEffect on Text

Single quotation mark

Single percent sign

Single backslash



Form feed

New line

Carriage return

Horizontal tab

Vertical tab

Hexadecimal number,

Octal number,

Related Topics


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MATLAB is a high-performance language for technical computing. It integrates computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment where problems and solutions are expressed in familiar mathematical notation. Typical uses include:MATLAB is an interactive system whose basic data element is an array that does not require dimensioning. This allows you to solve many technical computing problems, especially those with matrix and vector formulations, in a fraction of the time it would take to write a program in a scalar noninteractive language such as C or Fortran.The name MATLAB stands for matrix laboratory. MATLAB was originally written to provide easy access to matrix software developed by the LINPACK and EISPACK projects, which together represent the state-of-the-art in software for matrix computation. MATLAB has evolved over a period of years with input from many users. In university environments, it is the standard instructional tool for introductory and advanced courses in mathematics, engineering, and science. In industry, MATLAB is the tool of choice for high-productivity research, development, and analysis. MATLAB features a family of application-specific solutions called toolboxes. Very important to most users of MATLAB, toolboxes allow you to learn and apply specialized technology. Toolboxes are comprehensive collections of MATLAB functions (M-files) that extend the MATLAB environment to solve particular classes of problems. Areas in which toolboxes are available include signal processing, control systems, neural networks, fuzzy logic, wavelets, simulation, and many others.

The MATLAB System

The MATLAB system consists of five main parts:

The MATLAB language.

This is a high-level matrix/array language with control flow statements, functions, data structures, input/output, and object-oriented programming features. It allows both "programming in the small" to rapidly create quick and dirty throw-away programs, and "programming in the large" to create complete large and complex application programs.

The MATLAB working environment.

This is the set of tools and facilities that you work with as the MATLAB user or programmer. It includes facilities for managing the variables in your workspace and importing and exporting data. It also includes tools for developing, managing, debugging, and profiling M-files, MATLAB's applications.

Handle Graphics.

This is the MATLAB graphics system. It includes high-level commands for two-dimensional and three-dimensional data visualization, image processing, animation, and presentation graphics. It also includes low-level commands that allow you to fully customize the appearance of graphics as well as to build complete Graphical User Interfaces on your MATLAB applications.

The MATLAB mathematical function library.

This is a vast collection of computational algorithms ranging from elementary functions like sum, sine, cosine, and complex arithmetic, to more sophisticated functions like matrix inverse, matrix eigenvalues, Bessel functions, and fast Fourier transforms.

The MATLAB Application Program Interface (API).

This is a library that allows you to write C and Fortran programs that interact with MATLAB. It include facilities for calling routines from MATLAB (dynamic linking), calling MATLAB as a computational engine, and for reading and writing MAT-files.
Using MATLAB with GitHub Actions

Designed for the way you think and the work you do.

MATLAB® combines a desktop environment tuned for iterative analysis and design processes with a programming language that expresses matrix and array mathematics directly. It includes the Live Editor for creating scripts that combine code, output, and formatted text in an executable notebook.


Professionally Built

MATLAB toolboxes are professionally developed, rigorously tested, and fully documented.

With Interactive Apps

MATLAB apps let you see how different algorithms work with your data. Iterate until you’ve got the results you want, then automatically generate a MATLAB program to reproduce or automate your work.

And the Ability to Scale

Scale your analyses to run on clusters, GPUs, and clouds with only minor code changes. There’s no need to rewrite your code or learn big data programming and out-of-memory techniques.

Take Your Ideas Beyond Research to Production

Deploy to Enterprise Applications

MATLAB code is production ready, so you can go directly to your cloud and enterprise systems, and integrate with data sources and business systems.

Integrate with Model-Based Design

MATLAB works with Simulink to support Model-Based Design, which is used for multidomain simulation, automatic code generation, and test and verification of embedded systems.

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Or matlab matlab

Matlab or MATLAB?

This question puzzled me. So I dug a bit around.


Matlab seems like a much better choice for a non-legal document. For example, a journal paper or a SE community answer. Unless such spelling explicitly contradicts the style guide of the publication you are writing for.

However, I would avoid "Matlab®" for multiple reasons.

Motivation for Matlab vs MATLAB[®]

  • The trademarked term is usually treated as a proper noun, which implies capitalization; however, not all-caps, but title caps.
  • As far as I understand, the US copyright law requires the treatment as a proper noun but does not require to replicate all the stylistic details, which would include all-caps.

I am a bit shaky on presenting the actual excerpt from the legal document here.

Audience for This Guide

The brand guide is for MathWorks distributors, external creative contractors, and agencies who create MathWorks materials.

Nothing here dictates me, a person who is not affiliated with MathWorks, to be obliged in using their view on appropriate capitalizations.

Particular style guide examples:

When deciding how to format a trademark, editors should examine styles already in use by independent reliable sources. From among those, choose the style that most closely resembles standard English – regardless of the preference of the trademark owner. Do not invent new styles that are not used by independent reliable sources.

In general, discourage capitalization in text except where absolutely necessary.


The trademark symbols ™ and ® are no longer used. Capitalize the first letter in the trademark name only.


How to Write a MATLAB Program - MATLAB Tutorial


Numerical computing environment and programming language

For the geographical region, see Matlab (Bangladesh).

Not to be confused with MATHLAB.

Paradigmmulti-paradigm: functional, imperative, procedural, object-oriented, array
Designed byCleve Moler
First appearedlate 1970s
Stable release
R2021b[1] Edit this on Wikidata/ September 22, 2021; 23 days ago (September 22, 2021)
Typing disciplinedynamic, weak
Filename extensions.m, .p,[2] .mex*,[3] .mat,[4] .fig,[5] .mlx,[6] .mlapp,[7] .mltbx,[8] .mlappinstall,[9] .mlpkginstall[10]

MATLAB (an abbreviation of "matrix laboratory") is a proprietarymulti-paradigmprogramming language and numeric computing environment developed by MathWorks. MATLAB allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages.

Although MATLAB is intended primarily for numeric computing, an optional toolbox uses the MuPADsymbolic engine allowing access to symbolic computing abilities. An additional package, Simulink, adds graphical multi-domain simulation and model-based design for dynamic and embedded systems.

As of 2020, MATLAB has more than 4 million users worldwide.[21] MATLAB users come from various backgrounds of engineering, science, and economics.



MATLAB was invented by mathematician and computer programmer Cleve Moler.[22] The idea for MATLAB was based on his 1960s PhD thesis.[22] Moler became a math professor at the University of New Mexico and started developing MATLAB for his students[22] as a hobby.[23] He developed MATLAB's initial linear algebra programming in 1967 with his one-time thesis advisor, George Forsythe.[22] This was followed by Fortran code for linear equations in 1971.[22]

In the beginning (before version 1.0) MATLAB "was not a programming language; it was a simple interactive matrix calculator. There were no programs, no toolboxes, no graphics. And no ODEs or FFTs."[24]

The first early version of MATLAB was completed in the late 1970s.[22] The software was disclosed to the public for the first time in February 1979 at the Naval Postgraduate School in California.[23] Early versions of MATLAB were simple matrix calculators with 71 pre-built functions.[25] At the time, MATLAB was distributed for free[26][27] to universities.[28] Moler would leave copies at universities he visited and the software developed a strong following in the math departments of university campuses.[29]: 5 

In the 1980s, Cleve Moler met John N. Little. They decided to reprogram MATLAB in C and market it for the IBM desktops that were replacing mainframe computers at the time.[22] John Little and programmer Steve Bangert re-programmed MATLAB in C, created the MATLAB programming language, and developed features for toolboxes.[23]

Commercial development[edit]

MATLAB was first released as a commercial product in 1984 at the Automatic Control Conference in Las Vegas.[22][23]MathWorks, Inc. was founded to develop the software[27] and the MATLAB programming language was released.[25] The first MATLAB sale was the following year, when Nick Trefethen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology bought ten copies.[23][30]

By the end of the 1980s, several hundred copies of MATLAB had been sold to universities for student use.[23] The software was popularized largely thanks to toolboxes created by experts in various fields for performing specialized mathematical tasks.[26] Many of the toolboxes were developed as a result of Stanford students that used MATLAB in academia, then brought the software with them to the private sector.[23]

Over time, MATLAB was re-written for early operating systems created by Digital Equipment Corporation, VAX, Sun Microsystems, and for Unix PCs.[23][25] Version 3 was released in 1987.[31] The first MATLAB compiler was developed by Stephen C. Johnson in the 1990s.[25]

In 2000, MathWorks added a Fortran-based library for linear algebra in MATLAB 6, replacing the software's original LINPACK and EISPACK subroutines that were in C.[25] MATLAB's Parallel Computing Toolbox was released at the 2004 Supercomputing Conference and support for graphics processing units (GPUs) was added to it in 2010.[25]

Recent history[edit]

Some especially large changes to the software were made with version 8 in 2012.[32] The user interface was reworked[citation needed] and Simulink's functionality was expanded.[33] By 2016, MATLAB had introduced several technical and user interface improvements, including the MATLAB Live Editor notebook, and other features.[25]


The MATLAB application is built around the MATLAB programming language. Common usage of the MATLAB application involves using the "Command Window" as an interactive mathematical shell or executing text files containing MATLAB code.[34]


Variables are defined using the assignment operator, . MATLAB is a weakly typed programming language because types are implicitly converted.[35] It is an inferred typed language because variables can be assigned without declaring their type, except if they are to be treated as symbolic objects,[36] and that their type can change. Values can come from constants, from computation involving values of other variables, or from the output of a function. For example:

>> x=17x = 17>> x='hat'x =hat>> x=[3*4,pi/2]x = 12.0000 1.5708>> y=3*sin(x)y = -1.6097 3.0000

Vectors and matrices[edit]

A simple array is defined using the colon syntax: initialincrementterminator. For instance:


defines a variable named (or assigns a new value to an existing variable with the name ) which is an array consisting of the values 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. That is, the array starts at 1 (the initial value), increments with each step from the previous value by 2 (the increment value), and stops once it reaches (or is about to exceed) 9 (the terminator value).

The increment value can actually be left out of this syntax (along with one of the colons), to use a default value of 1.


assigns to the variable named an array with the values 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, since the default value of 1 is used as the increment.

Indexing is one-based,[37] which is the usual convention for matrices in mathematics, unlike zero-based indexing commonly used in other programming languages such as C, C++, and Java.

Matrices can be defined by separating the elements of a row with blank space or comma and using a semicolon to terminate each row. The list of elements should be surrounded by square brackets . Parentheses are used to access elements and subarrays (they are also used to denote a function argument list).


Sets of indices can be specified by expressions such as , which evaluates to . For example, a submatrix taken from rows 2 through 4 and columns 3 through 4 can be written as:


A square identity matrix of size n can be generated using the function , and matrices of any size with zeros or ones can be generated with the functions and , respectively.


Transposing a vector or a matrix is done either by the function or by adding dot-prime after the matrix (without the dot, prime will perform conjugate transpose for complex arrays):


Most functions accept arrays as input and operate element-wise on each element. For example, will multiply every element in J by 2, and then reduce each element modulo n. MATLAB does include standard and loops, but (as in other similar applications such as R), using the vectorized notation is encouraged and is often faster to execute. The following code, excerpted from the function magic.m, creates a magic squareM for odd values of n (MATLAB function is used here to generate square matrices I and J containing 1:n):



MATLAB supports structure data types.[38] Since all variables in MATLAB are arrays, a more adequate name is "structure array", where each element of the array has the same field names. In addition, MATLAB supports dynamic field names[39] (field look-ups by name, field manipulations, etc.).


When creating a MATLAB function, the name of the file should match the name of the first function in the file. Valid function names begin with an alphabetic character, and can contain letters, numbers, or underscores. Variables and functions are case sensitive.[40]

Function handles[edit]

MATLAB supports elements of lambda calculus by introducing function handles,[41] or function references, which are implemented either in .m files or anonymous[42]/nested functions.[43]

Classes and object-oriented programming[edit]

MATLAB supports object-oriented programming including classes, inheritance, virtual dispatch, packages, pass-by-value semantics, and pass-by-reference semantics.[44] However, the syntax and calling conventions are significantly different from other languages. MATLAB has value classes and reference classes, depending on whether the class has handle as a super-class (for reference classes) or not (for value classes).[45]

Method call behavior is different between value and reference classes. For example, a call to a method:

can alter any member of object only if object is an instance of a reference class, otherwise value class methods must return a new instance if it needs to modify the object.

An example of a simple class is provided below:


When put into a file named , this can be executed with the following commands:

>> x=Hello();>> x.greet();Hello!

Graphics and graphical user interface programming[edit]

MATLAB has tightly integrated graph-plotting features. For example, the function plot can be used to produce a graph from two vectors x and y. The code:


produces the following figure of the sine function:

Matlab plot sin.svg

MATLAB supports three-dimensional graphics as well:

[X,Y]=meshgrid(-10:0.25:10,-10:0.25:10);f=sinc(sqrt((X/pi).^2+(Y/pi).^2));mesh(X,Y,f);axis([-1010-1010-0.31])xlabel('{\bfx}')ylabel('{\bfy}')zlabel('{\bfsinc} ({\bfR})')hiddenoff
[X,Y]=meshgrid(-10:0.25:10,-10:0.25:10);f=sinc(sqrt((X/pi).^2+(Y/pi).^2));surf(X,Y,f);axis([-1010-1010-0.31])xlabel('{\bfx}')ylabel('{\bfy}')zlabel('{\bfsinc} ({\bfR})')
This code produces a wireframe 3D plot of the two-dimensional unnormalized sinc function:     This code produces a surface 3D plot of the two-dimensional unnormalized sinc function:
MATLAB mesh sinc3D.svg    MATLAB surf sinc3D.svg

MATLAB supports developing graphical user interface (GUI) applications.[46] UIs can be generated either programmatically or using visual design environments such as GUIDE and App Designer.[47][48]

MATLAB and other languages[edit]

MATLAB can call functions and subroutines written in the programming languages C or Fortran.[49] A wrapper function is created allowing MATLAB data types to be passed and returned. MEX files (MATLAB executables) are the dynamically loadable object files created by compiling such functions.[50][51] Since 2014 increasing two-way interfacing with Python was being added.[52][53]

Libraries written in Perl, Java, ActiveX or .NET can be directly called from MATLAB,[54][55] and many MATLAB libraries (for example XML or SQL support) are implemented as wrappers around Java or ActiveX libraries. Calling MATLAB from Java is more complicated, but can be done with a MATLAB toolbox[56] which is sold separately by MathWorks, or using an undocumented mechanism called JMI (Java-to-MATLAB Interface),[57][58] (which should not be confused with the unrelated Java Metadata Interface that is also called JMI). Official MATLAB API for Java was added in 2016.[59]

As alternatives to the MuPAD based Symbolic Math Toolbox available from MathWorks, MATLAB can be connected to Maple or Mathematica.[60][61]

Libraries also exist to import and export MathML.[62]

While MATLAB is the most popular commercial numerical computation software package,[63] other alternatives are available, such as the open source computation language GNU Octave, the statistics programming language R, the computing environment Maple and the computational language Julia.[63][64]

Withdrawal from China[edit]

In 2020, Chinese state media reported that MATLAB had withdrawn services from two Chinese universities as a result of US sanctions, and said this will be responded to by increased use of open-source alternatives and by developing domestic alternatives.[65]

Release history[edit]

MATLAB is updated twice per year.[66]: 517 [33] In addition to new features and other improvements, each release has new bug fixes and smaller changes.[67]

Version[68]Release nameNumberBundled JVMYearRelease dateNotes
MATLAB 1.0 1984
MATLAB 2 1986
MATLAB 3 1987 First Matlab toolbox introduced; support for ordinary differential equations added.[25]: 81 
MATLAB 3.5 1990 Ran on DOS but needed at least a 386 processor; needed a math coprocessor.
MATLAB 4 1992 Ran on Windows 3.1x and Macintosh.
MATLAB 4.2c 1994 Ran on Windows 3.1x; needed a math coprocessor.
MATLAB 5.0 Volume 8 1996 December 1996 Unified releases across all platforms.
MATLAB 5.1 Volume 9 1997 May 1997
MATLAB 5.1.1 R9.1
MATLAB 5.2 R10 1998 March 1998 Last version working on classic Macs.
MATLAB 5.2.1 R10.1
MATLAB 5.3 R11 1999 January 1999
MATLAB 5.3.1 R11.1 November 1999
MATLAB 6.0 R12 12 1.1.8 2000 November 2000 First release with bundled Java virtual machine (JVM).
MATLAB 6.1 R12.1 1.3.0 2001 June 2001 Last release for Windows 95.
MATLAB 6.5 R13 13 1.3.1 2002 July 2002
MATLAB 6.5.1 R13SP1 2003
MATLAB 6.5.2 R13SP2 Last release for Windows 98, Windows ME, IBM/AIX, Alpha/TRU64, and SGI/IRIX.[69]
MATLAB 7 R14 14 1.4.2 2004 June 2004 Introduced anonymous and nested functions;[70] re-introduced for Mac (under Mac OS X).
MATLAB 7.0.1 R14SP1 October 2004
R14SP1+ 2004 November 2004 Parallel Computing Toolbox introduced.[25]: 4 [71]: 3 
MATLAB 7.0.4 R14SP2 1.5.0 2005 March 7, 2005 Support added for memory-mapped files.[72]
MATLAB 7.1 R14SP3 1.5.0 September 1, 2005 First 64-bit version available for Windows XP 64-bit.
MATLAB 7.2 R2006a 15 1.5.0 2006 March 1, 2006
MATLAB 7.3 R2006b 16 1.5.0 September 1, 2006 HDF5-based MAT-file support added.
MATLAB 7.4 R2007a 17 1.5.0_07 2007 March 1, 2007 New function added to apply element-by-element binary operation with singleton expansion enabled.[73]
MATLAB 7.5 R2007b 18 1.6.0 September 1, 2007 Last release for Windows 2000 and PowerPC Mac; License Server support for Windows Vista;[74] new internal format for P-code.
MATLAB 7.6 R2008a 19 1.6.0 2008 March 1, 2008 Major enhancements to object-oriented programming abilities with a new class definition syntax;[75] ability to manage namespaces with packages.[76]
MATLAB 7.7 R2008b 20 1.6.0_04 October 9, 2008 Last release for processors w/o SSE2; New Map data structure;[77] upgrades to random number generators.[78]
MATLAB 7.8 R2009a 21 1.6.0_04 2009 March 6, 2009 First release for Microsoft 32-bit & 64-bit Windows 7; new external interface to .NET Framework.[79]
MATLAB 7.9 R2009b 22 1.6.0_12 September 4, 2009 First release for Intel 64-bit Mac, and last for SolarisSPARC; new use for the tilde operator () to ignore arguments in function calls.[80][81]
MATLAB 7.9.1 R2009bSP1 1.6.0_12 2010 April 1, 2010 Bug fixes.
MATLAB 7.10 R2010a 23 1.6.0_12 March 5, 2010 Last release for Intel 32-bit Mac.
MATLAB 7.11 R2010b 24 1.6.0_17 September 3, 2010 Added support for enumerations;[82] added features for running MATLAB code on NVIDIA CUDA-based GPUs.[83]
MATLAB 7.11.1 R2010bSP1 1.6.0_17 2011 March 17, 2011 Bug fixes and updates.
MATLAB 7.11.2 R2010bSP2 1.6.0_17 April 5, 2012[84]Bug fixes.
MATLAB 7.12 R2011a 25 1.6.0_17 April 8, 2011 New function to control random number generation.[85][86][87]
MATLAB 7.13 R2011b 26 1.6.0_17 September 1, 2011 Added ability to access/change parts of variables directly in MAT-files, without loading into memory;[88] increased maximum local workers with Parallel Computing Toolbox from 8 to 12.[89]
MATLAB 7.14 R2012a 27 1.6.0_17 2012 March 1, 2012 Last version with 32-bit Linux support.[90]
MATLAB 8 R2012b 28 1.6.0_17 September 11, 2012 First release with Toolstrip interface;[91] MATLAB Apps introduced;[92] redesigned documentation system.
MATLAB 8.1 R2013a 29 1.6.0_17 2013 March 7, 2013 New unit testing framework.[93]
MATLAB 8.2 R2013b 30 1.7.0_11 September 6, 2013[94]Built in Java Runtime Environment (JRE) updated to version 7;[95] New table data type.[96]
MATLAB 8.3 R2014a 31 1.7.0_11 2014 March 7, 2014[97]Simplified compiler setup for building MEX-files; USB Webcams support in core MATLAB; number of local workers no longer limited to 12 with Parallel Computing Toolbox.
MATLAB 8.4 R2014b 32 1.7.0_11 October 3, 2014 New class-based graphics engine (a.k.a. HG2);[98] tabbing function in GUI;[99] improved user toolbox packaging and help files;[100] new objects for time-date manipulations;[101]Git-Subversion integration in IDE;[102]big data abilities with MapReduce (scalable to Hadoop);[103] new package for using Python from inside MATLAB;[104] new engine interface to call MATLAB from Python;[105] several new and improved functions: (RESTful web services with JSON/XML support), (socket-based connections), , , , and others.
MATLAB 8.5 R2015a 33 1.7.0_60 2015 March 5, 2015
MATLAB 8.5 R2015aSP1 1.7.0_60 October 14, 2015 Last release supporting Windows XP and Windows Vista.
MATLAB 8.6 R2015b 34 1.7.0_60 September 3, 2015 New MATLAB execution engine (a.k.a. LXE);[106] and classes to work with graphs and networks;[107] MinGW-w64 as supported compiler on Windows;[108] last version with 32-bit support.
MATLAB 9.0 R2016a 35 1.7.0_60 2016 March 3, 2016 Released Live Scripts: interactive documents that combine text, code, and output (in the style of Literate programming);[109] App Designer introduced: a new development environment for building apps (with new kind of UI figures, axes, and components);[110] pause execution of running programs using a Pause Button.
MATLAB 9.1 R2016b 36 1.7.0_60 September 15, 2016 Added ability to define local functions in scripts;[111] automatic expansion of dimensions (previously provided via explicit call to ); arrays for Big data;[112] new type;[113] new functions to encode/decode JSON;[114] official MATLAB Engine API for Java.[59]
MATLAB 9.2 R2017a 37 1.7.0_60 2017 March 9, 2017 Released MATLAB Online: cloud-based MATLAB desktop accessed in a web browser;[115] double-quoted strings; new function for Memoization; expanded object properties validation;[116]mocking framework for unit testing;[117] MEX targets 64-bit by default; new function for creating heatmap charts.[118]
MATLAB 9.3 R2017b 38 1.8.0_121 September 21, 2017 Introduced a GPU Coder that converts MATLAB code to CUDA code for Nvidia.[119]
MATLAB 9.4 R2018a 39 1.8.0_144 2018 March 15, 2018[120]Improvements to the Live editor; introduction of the C++ MEX interface; ability to customize tab completion; web applications.
MATLAB 9.5 R2018b 40 1.8.0_152 September 12, 2018 Added support for cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services; Neural Network Toolbox replaced with Deep Learning Toolbox.[122]
MATLAB 9.6 R2019a 41 1.8.0_181 2019 March 20, 2019 Released MATLAB Projects; added state machine programming with Stateflow.[123]
MATLAB 9.7 R2019b 42 1.8.0_202 September 11, 2019 Introduction of 'arguments' block for input validation; enabling of dot indexing into function outputs; introduction of Live Editor Tasks.[124]
MATLAB 9.8 R2020a 43 2020 March 19, 2020 Removal of Mupad notebook; improved support for AMD CPUs (AVX2);[125] default UTF-8 encoding for MATLAB code files;[126] ability to create stand-alone applications with Simulink.[127]
MATLAB 9.9 R2020b 44 September 17, 2020 Improved support for AMD CPUs (AVX2);[125] online version of Simulink.[128]
MATLAB 9.10 R2021a 45 2021 March 11,2021
MATLAB 9.11 R2021b September 22, 2021

The number (or release number) is the version reported by Concurrent License Manager program FLEXlm. For a complete list of changes of both MATLAB and official toolboxes, consult the MATLAB release notes.[129]

See also[edit]


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Differences Between MATLAB and MATLAB Runtime

MATLAB® Runtime differs from MATLAB in several important ways:

  • In MATLAB Runtime, MATLAB files are encrypted and immutable.

  • MATLAB has a desktop graphical interface. The MATLAB Runtime has all the MATLAB functionality without the graphical interface.

  • The MATLAB Runtime is version-specific. You must run your applications with the version of the MATLAB Runtime associated with the version of MATLAB Compiler SDK™ with which it was created. For example, if you compiled an application using version 6.3 (R2016b) of MATLAB Compiler™, users who do not have MATLAB installed must have version 9.1 of the MATLAB Runtime installed. Use to return the version number of the MATLAB Runtime.

  • The MATLAB paths in a MATLAB Runtime instance are fixed and cannot be changed. To change them, you must first customize them within MATLAB.


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