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Workspace Variables and MAT-Files

Manage data in the MATLAB® workspace

The MATLAB workspace contains variables that you create or import into MATLAB from data files or other programs. You can view and edit the contents of the workspace in the Workspace browser or in the Command Window. To modify the contents of variables, use the Variables editor.

Workspace variables do not persist after you exit MATLAB. To use your data across multiple MATLAB sessions, save it to a compressed file with a .mat extension called a MAT-file. You can restore saved data by loading a MAT-file back into MATLAB.


clear Remove items from workspace, freeing up system memory
clearvars Clear variables from memory
disp Display value of variable
openvar Open workspace variable in Variables editor or other graphical editing tool
who List variables in workspace
whos List variables in workspace, with sizes and types
load Load variables from file into workspace
save Save workspace variables to file
matfile Access and change variables directly in MAT-files, without loading into memory


Create and Edit Variables

Create, edit, and copy variables in the MATLAB workspace, in the Command Window or using the Workspace browser and Variables editor.

Save and Load Workspace Variables

Save some or all variables in the current workspace and reload the variables later during the current MATLAB session, or during another session.

Workspace and Variable Preferences

Set preferences for the Workspace browser and Variables editor.

MAT-File Versions

MAT-files are binary MATLAB files that store workspace variables.


Loading Variables within a Function

If you define a function that loads data from a MAT-file, and find that MATLAB does not return the expected results, check whether any variables in the MAT-file share the same name as a MATLAB function.

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