detect debug mode

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Ronan on 13 Jul 2011
Commented: Adam Danz on 30 Aug 2020
is there a way to tell if your function has been called from the "k>>" debug prompt instead of the normal ">>" prompt?
Something like an "isdebug()" function??

Accepted Answer

Daniel Shub
Daniel Shub on 13 Jul 2011
I don't think there is a robust way to tell. For example, you can get the "k>>" prompt with a keyboard command and I have no idea how to tell if the keyboard command has been called.
If you just want to tell if you are at a standard break point you can probably check each item in dbstack against the breakpoints returned by dbstatus.
  1 Comment
Ronan on 13 Jul 2011
Thanks Daniel
If there really is no builtin way then comparing the outputs of dbstack an dbstatus is a good suggestion. Can anyone foresee and problems with this??

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More Answers (2)

Jan on 13 Jul 2011
You can use this to determine, if Matlab is currently in debug mode:
This replies 1 in debug mode, 0 otherwise. This is not documented and can change with the Matlab version.
Adam Danz
Adam Danz on 30 Aug 2020
Unfortunately, this solution no longer seems to work (r2019b) unless the call to feature or system_dependent is invoked by "Evalulate Selection" (F9).
function test()

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Julian on 9 Oct 2015
I also needed an answer to this question! I was pleased just now to find here on Answers that feature('IsDebugMode') does the trick. Before turning to Answers I was looking in the MATLAB help, and came up with this alternative:
dbup % try going up the stack frame, works if in debug mode
dbdown % back to where we started
isDebugMode = true;
catch ME
assert(strcmp(ME.identifier, 'MATLAB:dbOnlyInDebugMode'))
isDebugMode = false;
Although the undocumented feature() is much neater, this is an alternative if you want to stay on official MATLAB.
  1 Comment
Adam Danz
Adam Danz on 30 Aug 2020
This solution fails in r2019b (I haven't tested it in earlier versions).
Debug commands are only supported when stopped in debug mode so when they are executed from within a script/function as you step through it in debug mode, it will cause an error the same error as when it's invoked from outside of debug mode ('MATLAB:dbOnlyInDebugMode').

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