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Workspace Variables and MAT-Files

Manage data in the MATLAB® workspace

The 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. For more information, see Create and Edit Variables.

Workspace variables do not persist after you exit MATLAB. To use your data across multiple 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. For more information, see Save and Load Workspace Variables.


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
disp Display value of variable
who List variables in workspace
whos List variables in workspace, with sizes and types
clear Remove items from workspace, freeing up system memory
clearvars Clear variables from memory
openvar Open workspace variable in Variables editor or other graphical editing tool


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.

Display Statistics in the Workspace Browser

For each variable or object, the Workspace browser can display statistics such as the min, max, and mean, when relevant.

Workspace and Variable Preferences

Set preferences for the Workspace browser and Variables editor.

MAT-File Versions

There are several versions of MAT-files that each support an increasing set of features, starting with MAT-file Version 4.


Unexpected Results When Loading Variables Within a Function

If you have 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.

Related Information

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