Intelligent code completion for matlab

Code completion for the Matlab editor.
Updated 9 Oct 2009

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The Matlab editor provides an integrated code completion through the tab key. However the scope of this completion is the entire Matlab path, so the number of matches is usually large when matching a few characters. On the other hand the native Matlab code completion is sometimes too restrictive since it only matches sequential characters. I have found the more flexible matching of TextMate very convenient to use, where e.g. the string 'fcn' can be completed to 'function'. The purpose of this macro is to provide such a more flexible matching algorithm, but with scope restricted to the current document.
To use this macro you must install EditorMacro by Yair Altman, put this file (Matlab_Code_Completion_Macro.m) on your Matlab path and add the following lines to your startup.m file:
macros = EditorMacro('ctrl-space',@Matlab_Code_Completion_Macro, 'run');
macros = EditorMacro('ctrl-alt-space',@Matlab_Code_Completion_Macro, 'run');
macros = EditorMacro('shift-ctrl-space',@Matlab_Code_Completion_Macro, 'run');
To use the macro, type in the Matlab editor a string to be completed, e.g.,
To find possible completions, press ctrl-space.
Then you get the suggested code completion
Pressing ctrl-space once again you get the next best completion
and pressing ctrl-space again
Pressing ctrl-shift-space we step back to the previous suggestion
and this completion is chosen by pressing ctrl-alt-space, so we get
Now with the caret positioned at the end of the function keyword, we press ctrl-alt-space again and get
function [
Now we can type a variable list
function [y,z
and type ctrl-alt-space again to get
function [y,z] =
Type the function name
function [z,w] = f
and press ctrl-alt-space again
function [z,w] = f(
Type a variable list
function [z,w] = f(x,y
and press ctrl-alt-space again
function [z,w] = f(x,y)
Next, you can type the function body, for example
function [z,w] = f(x,y)
z=x+y; w=z-y;
(to get correct indentation you may need to apply the smart indent, e.g., by the shortcut ctrl-i). Finally, you can use ctrl-alt-space again to get the end statement
function [z,w] = f(x,y)
z=x+y; w=z-y;
Similar completions work for if, elseif, for and while.

In conclusion, I have found this macro a valuable complement to the native Matlab code completion, and it has saved me a lot of typing and searching for variable and function names.
I hope you find it useful. Enjoy!

Cite As

Leif Persson (2024). Intelligent code completion for matlab (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2009a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux
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Version Published Release Notes

Description update

Updated documentation

Bugfix for struct fields

Turned off debug print (again!)

Bug fix

Tokens in strings now excluded
Bug fixes

Cleaned up debug prints

Cleaned up debug prints

Improved sorting of code completion matches
Bugfix for comment exclusion
Added end statement as last altenative for ctrl-alt

Bug fix

Improved code completion: function and variable names within comments are now ignored