MATLAB® throws an error if a variable and function have been given the same name and there is insufficient information available for MATLAB to resolve the conflict. You may see an error message something like the following:
Error: <functionName> was previously used as a variable, conflicting with its use here as the name of a function or command.
<functionName> is the name of
You may encounter the following error message, or something similar, while working with functions or variables in MATLAB:
Undefined function or variable 'x'.
These errors usually indicate that MATLAB cannot find a particular variable or MATLAB program file in the current directory or on the search path. The root cause is likely to be one of the following:
The name of the function has been misspelled.
The function name and name of the file containing the function are not the same.
The toolbox to which the function belongs is not installed.
The search path to the function has been changed.
The function is part of a toolbox that you do not have a license for.
Follow the steps described in this section to resolve this situation.
One of the most common errors is misspelling the function name.
Especially with longer function names or names containing similar
characters (e.g., letter
l and numeral one), it
is easy to make an error that is not easily detected.
If you misspell a MATLAB function, a suggested function name appears in the Command Window. For example, this command fails because it includes an uppercase letter in the function name:
Undefined function or variable 'accumArray'. Did you mean: >> accumarray
Press Enter to execute the suggested command or Esc to dismiss it.
You establish the name for a function when you write its function
definition line. This name should always match the name of the file
you save it to. For example, if you create a function named
function curveplot(xVal, yVal) - program code -
then you should name the file containing that function
If you create a
for the function, then name that file
In the case of conflicting function and file names, the file name
overrides the name given to the function. In this example, if you
curveplot function to a file named
then attempts to invoke the function using the function name will
curveplot Undefined function or variable 'curveplot'.
If you encounter this problem, change either the function name or file name so that they are the same. If you have difficulty locating the file that uses this function, use the MATLAB Find Files utility as follows:
On the Home tab, in the File section, click Find Files.
Under Find files named: enter
Under Find files containing text: enter the function name.
Click the Find button
If you are unable to use a built-in function from MATLAB or its toolboxes, make sure that the function is installed.
If you do not know which toolbox supports the function you need,
search for the function documentation at
The toolbox name appears at the top of the function reference page.
Once you know which toolbox the function belongs to, use the
ver function to see which toolboxes are
installed on the system from which you run MATLAB. The
displays a list of all currently installed MathWorks® products.
If you can locate the toolbox you need in the output displayed by
then the toolbox is installed. For help with
installing MathWorks products, see the Installation
If you do not see the toolbox and you believe that it is installed, then perhaps the MATLAB path has been set incorrectly. Go on to the next section.
This step resets the path to the default. Because MATLAB stores the toolbox information in a cache file, you will need to first update this cache and then reset the path. To do this,
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences.
The Preference dialog box appears.
Under the MATLAB > General node, click the Update Toolbox Path Cache button.
On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Set Path....
The Set Path dialog box opens.
A small dialog box opens warning that you will lose your current path settings if you proceed. Click Yes if you decide to proceed.
(If you have added any custom paths to MATLAB, you will need to restore those later)
ver again to see if the toolbox is
installed. If not, you may need to reinstall this toolbox to use this
function. See the Related Solution 1-1CBD3, "How
do I install additional toolboxes into my existing MATLAB"
for more information about installing a toolbox.
ver shows your toolbox, run the following
command to see if you can find the function:
which -all <functionname>
<functionname> with the name
of the function. You should be presented with the path(s) of the function
file. If you get a message indicating that the function name was not
found, you may need to reinstall that toolbox to make the function
If you receive the error message “
Has no license
available”, there is a licensing related issue preventing
you from using the function. To find the error that is occurring,
you can use the following command:
license checkout <toolbox_license_key_name>
the proper key name for the toolbox that contains your function. To
find the license key name, look at the
in your license file. For information on how to find your license
file see the related solution: 1-63ZIR6, "Where
are the license files for MATLAB located?”
The license key names of all the toolboxes are located after
each INCREMENT tag in the
license.dat file. For
INCREMENT MATLAB MLM 17 00-jan-0000 0 k B454554BADECED4258 \HOSTID=123456 SN=123456
If your license.dat file has no INCREMENT lines, refer to your license administrator for them. For example, to test the licensing for Symbolic Math Toolbox™, you would run the following command:
license checkout Symbolic_Toolbox
A correct testing gives the result "ANS=1". An incorrect testing results in an error from the license manager. You can either troubleshoot the error by looking up the license manager error here:
or you can contact the Installation Support Team with the error here:
When contacting support, provide your license number, your MATLAB version, the function you are using, and the license manager error (if applicable).