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Function Basics

Create functions, including anonymous, local, and nested functions

MATLAB Language Syntax

function Declare function name, inputs, and outputs

Examples and How To

Create Functions in Files

This example shows how to create a function in a program file.

Add Help for Your Program

Help text appears in the Command Window when you use the help function. Create help text for your program by inserting comments at the beginning.

Run Functions in the Editor

This example shows how to run a function that requires some initial setup, such as input argument values, while working in the Editor.


Types of Functions

There are several types of functions available with MATLAB®, including local functions, nested functions, private functions, and anonymous functions.

Anonymous Functions

An anonymous function is a function that is not stored in a program file. It is associated with a variable whose data type is function_handle. Anonymous functions can accept inputs and return outputs, just as standard functions do, but can contain only a single executable statement.

Local Functions

Local functions are functions that follow the main function in the file in a file. They are only visible to other functions in the same file and are equivalent to subroutines in other programming languages.

Nested Functions

A nested function is a function that is completely contained within a parent function. Any function in a program file can include a nested function.

Private Functions

To limit the scope of a function, designate it as private by storing it in a subfolder with the name private. The private function is available only to functions in the folder immediately above the private subfolder, or to scripts called by the functions that reside in the parent folder.

Function Precedence Order

To determine which function to call when multiple functions in the current scope have the same name, MATLAB uses function precedence order.


Variables in Nested and Anonymous Functions

Variables used within nested and anonymous functions must be present in the text of the code. If you add a variable to the workspace of an anonymous function, a nested function, or a function that contains a nested function dynamically, MATLAB issues an error.

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